Deals & Events

5 Better Ways to Do Cinco de Mayo Around LA

By Lesley Balla  |  May 5, 2014
Credit: Petty Cash

With Cinco de Mayo landing on a Monday, the city has been awash in cheap sour mix and nachos all weekend long. But the party won't stop. We don't need a holiday to drink delicious mezcal cocktails or eat the greatest tacos in LA, but if you feel the need to celebrate the 1862 Mexican victory over the French at the battle of Puebla today - that's what you're toasting to, btw - here are five spots with tasty and unique Cinco de Mayo specials.

Los Balcones: Hollywood's Peruvian restaurant has delicious mash-up specials tonight when it opens at 4 PM, including barman Marcos Tello's Medicina Latina made with mezcal, ginger and honey syrups, fresh lime and candied ginger, plus snacks like lamb shoulder tacos with aji amarillo salda and Peruvian nachos with pureed lima beans, South American salsa and queso fresco. All are $7 until closing (11 PM). (1360 Vine St.; 323-871-9600).

East Borough: The Culver City modern Vietnamese joint celebrates Chino de Mayo with Mexican-Southeast Asian specials like wonton nachos, oxtail tacos with bean sprouts and pickled red onions, and fried chicken tortas with banh mi toppings. To drink, there will be tequila shots with Tapatio salt and habanero mezcal cocktails, plus Cinco de Mayo games, pinatas and even a mariachi band. Festivities start at 5:30 PM (9810 W. Washington Blvd.; 310-596-8266).

Petty Cash: This is as much a first-year anniversary celebration as it is a Cinco de Mayo party but, either way, at least there will be pinatas. The special menu tonight includes $5 Fortaleza Tequila shots, bar snacks and Walter Manzke's famous pig ear's nachos. For entertainment, KCRW DJ Jeremy Sole spins throughout the night. Kick off work early to learn a bit about tequila - distillation methods, philosophies and the proper way to shoot drink it - at a special tasting from 2:30-3:30 PM ($5 cover charge at the door). Regular hours are 6-11 PM (7360 Beverly Blvd.; 323-933-5300).

Gracias Madre: You can be vegan and still enjoy a plate of tacos in West Hollywood today. In addition to the regular menu, there are $5 Purista margaritas, micheladas and sangria all night long, plus $5 tostadas, chips and guacamole and more. There will be a mariachi band from 5-7 PM and more live music throughout the night (8905 Melrose Ave.; 323-978-2170).

Plan Check: Both the Little Osaka and Fairfax Village gastropubs will have $5 margaritas and mezcal sours today, along with special Cinco de Mayo dishes from chef Ernesto Uchimura, like Taco Truck Fries (manteca-cooked fries, chorizo, guacamole, habanero salsa and cotija crema), tacos hamburgeusas and Mexican hot chocolate cruller donuts (1800 Sawtelle Blvd. and 351 North Fairfax Ave.).