Cinco de Mayo 2011: Bring On the Agave

Cinco de Mayo may have limited national significance in Mexico, but here in the U.S. and elsewhere, it’s a great day to celebrate Mexican culture by imbibing some of its finest exports. Bars and restaurants all over town will be hosting special events on the day that honors the Mexican Army’s victory over the occupying French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Following is a list of selected Cinco de Mayo events taking place on Thursday, May 5, 2011. Salud!

Photo: Border Grill

Border Grill
Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger offer several Cinco de Mayo options to enjoy their upscale, modern Mexican food, whether it’s paired with Margaritas at their Border Grill Downtown LA and Border Grill Santa Monica urban cantinas, or on the go at the Border Grill Truck and the Border Grill Stop kiosk.

Border Grill Downtown LA
445 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 486-5171
Featured on the Patio and in The CANTINA:

  • $5 Margaritas by Karma Tequila
  • $3 Tacos
  • $5 Quesadillas – Cooked on the outdoor griddle on the Patio

Border Grill Santa Monica
1445 4th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 451-1655
Extended happy hour drinks and bites:

  • $4 Margaritas
  • $3 Tacos

Border Grill Truck
Cinco de Mayo at LA Plaza
501 N. Main St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 542-6200 / (888) 488-8083

  • Border Grill Truck menu: Quinoa Fritters, Tacos, Quesadillas, Ceviche and more
  • Live mariachi music and DJ Betto Arcos (KPFK “Global Village”)
  • Free LA ArtLab all-ages art workshops
  • Free admission to LA Starts Here! and Calle Principal exhibitions

Border Grill Stop
601 S. Figueroa St. (at Wilshire)
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 244-6861
Featuring: $5 Quesadillas cooked on the outdoor griddle

Photo: The Yard

La Jarda – Cinco de Mayo
Head west to The Yard in Santa Monica, and instead of Chef Chris “CJ” Jacobson‘s gastropub fare, you’ll find his special menu of Mexican favorites such as Fried Quesadilla with Shrimp, Scallop Ceviche, Carnitas Tacos, House Queso, Fish Tacos, La Hamburguesa, Churros with Mexican Chocolate, Flan and Horchata.

The Yard
119 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 395-6037

  • $5 Margaritas and Tequila cocktail specials
  • Special Mexican food menu

Click to view

Las Perlas
Downtown’s shrine to artisanal tequila and mezcal will celebrate Cinco de Mayo early this year, opening its doors at noon on Thursday. Las Perlas will offer specials on cocktails, tequila and cerveza all day, and DJs will spin a wide range of genres from 2pm to close. To soak up the agave libations, Pal Cabron will be serving Chicken Tamales with Black Mole ($5) and Puebla-style Tacos Arabes ($3) starting at 6pm.

Las Perlas
107 East Sixth St.
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 988-8355
12pm to close

  • $5 Margaritas and Palomas (12pm-8pm)
  • $5 Herradura Shots (12pm-8pm)
  • $3 Tecates (12pm-8pm)
  • $8 Modela Especial cervezas with a shot of Tequila (8pm to close)
  • Pal Cabron chicken tamales and tacos arabes (6pm-2am)


  • 2-6pm: Jose Galvan (Sala de Espera, Indie 103FM)
  • 6-10pm: Takashi (Kapsoul)
  • 10pm-2am: Darren Revell (Big Sonic Heaven, Moheak Radio)

Click to view

Malo – Cinco de MALO Celebración
Malo and its sister restaurant Mas Malo offer two locations with multiple levels of tequilas and mezcals, drink and food specials, and DJs to keep guests in the agave groove. Mas Malo kicks things off in downtown at 11am, while the original Malo in Silver Lake starts its festivities at 5pm.

4326 West Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(323) 664-1011
5pm to close
Featuring: 901 Tequila

Mas Malo
515 West 7th St. (1st Floor)
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 985-4332
11am to close

  • Partida Tequila and Casa Noble Tequila (main level)
  • Corralejo Tequila (cantina)
  • 4Copas (mezzanine)
  • Mezcal on the Mezzanine: Sacacuento and Agave de Cortes (6-8pm)

Click to view

The Tijuana Underground at Vitello’s
Meanwhile in the 818, Bill Esparza (Street Gourmet LA) is teaming up with his friends Chuy Tovar (Real de Mexico Tequila) and Brad Roen (Vitello’s) to present a night of music, food and of course tequila. Esparza’s Cinco de Mayo party at Vitello’s is a return to a family tradition started by his father’s cousins in Northern California, which Esparza kept going here in LA until recently. As Esparza says on the party’s Facebook event page:

“My group the Tijuana Underground will be laying down pop, rock, and soul music hits for your listening and dancing pleasure, 100% agave Real de Mexico tequila will flow from the Real Girls, and Mexican food will be served from the guys that cook in most Italian-American restaurants…..Mexicans!!”

Upstairs at Vitello’s
Vitello’s Italian Restaurant
4349 Tujunga Ave.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 769-0905
$15 cover, doors at 7pm

  • Music by the Tijuana Underground
  • Drinks by the Real Bellas of Real de Mexico Tequila
  • Special “Tastes of Mexico” menu
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