Thursday, April 15, 2010

Eat Out. El Carmen [Thirsty Thursdays!].

When I'm in the mood for a good margarita, this is where I go. I discovered this West Third Street gem years ago, and have even had a birthday party here. El Carmen is a small well-decorated dark bar on a prime strip of Third (near the Grove). The decor is mostly tequila bottles, and portraits of masked Mexican wrestlers. There's the long bar on one side, and small tables on the other. They have a menu of small bites, which includes a delicious mashed potato taco, which is in a hard shell and topped with fresh salsa and sliced avocado. Delicious.

But what El Carmen is really all about it the margarita. It's not too sweet, not too sour, has just the right strength, and has a pure taste to it that I can best describe as the margarita equivalent of Fiji water, if that makes any sense. Monday through Friday they open at 5:00 p.m. for a happy hour till 7:00 p.m., and the quality of drink you get for the price I'd say is the best deal in town. Unfortunately on weekends, they're not open till 7:00 p.m. and there is no happy hour.

The waitresses are always nice, and the bartenders are knowledgeable. There's fruit-infused tequila for sipping, and a piƱa colada-margarita sort of hybrid called the Mexican Painkiller, which, if you like coconut, is a good runner up to their stellar margarita.

Blended (oh so blended - you'll be impressed with the chunk-free beauty of it) or on the rocks, you can't go wrong at El Carmen.

El Carmen is located at 8138 W Third Street in Los Angeles.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: thehappyhourtour

1 comment:

  1. My Great Grandfathers money was used to open this restaurant back in 1929 (General Arnulfo Gomez). Looking forward to eating here very soon! MG