Ah, tequila. You either love it or have some really good stories about when you loved it-once upon a time. Either way, you know how refreshing, crisp and-um-transformative a tasty margarita can be. This drink was named in 1948 after socialite Margarita Sames. The story goes something like this: Ms. Sames created her signature cocktail during an especially hot summer soirée and her concoction kept the party going for two weeks.
Go Margarita go!
My mission was simple. Find a Margarita with fresh ingredients and top shelf tequila that kept me interested past the first two sips. I kept the order consistent-rocks with salt. Thanks to all the well-seasoned bartenders who lovingly swirled, stirred and salted my test cases. Your work was not in vain.
Gilberts-The best Margarita in Los Angeles! Every batch is fresh squeezed and made to order. And every luscious, tart, salty sip tastes like it. Their chips are a great compliment, flash fried, warm and salted. Or munch on garlic and vinegar marinated carrots and peppers. Arrive early, there are about four tables in the bar area. And visit the ATM-Gilberts only accepts cash.
2526 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405, (310) 450-8057
El Cholo-The secret mixture is consistently balanced and strong! Again, get there early-it gets crowded every night of the week. Stake your claim on one of the large sofas and watch a game as you merrily sip away. Watch out, though, this Margarita will creep up on you.
1025 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, (310) 899-1106
Lares-In May 2005, a kitchen fire put this neighborhood watering hole out of commission for several months. My husband and I would drive by and gaze longingly at the darkened restaurant until the glorious re-opening. The minute you walk in, you are enfolded in the family. Theirs is a fuller, richer mix. Enjoy the live music and authentic food-and of course, being a part of the celebration.
2909 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, California, (310) 829-4559
Border Grill-Served in water tumblers, Border Grill is home of the decorator cocktail. This squeaky clean version is crisp and light. Sneak one in for lunch along with the wonderful duck taquitos!
1445 4th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401, (310) 451-1655
Paco’s-Wander past the salt-water aquariums, the women gently patting and grilling fresh tortillas, plop down in a comfy bucket chair and prepare for a treat. The Margaritas are skillfully created and complimented by buttery, pastry-like flour tortillas. Yum!
4141 S. Centinela Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90066