Hey LA!  This Cinco de Mayo I suggest you give some good thought to spending it in downtown Santa Monica!  I recently experienced a pretty badass "Taco Trek" that started at Border Grill and ended at Copa D'Oro.  It's a no-fail plan.  You can park your car in one of the garages on 4th street and then you're free to roam for hours, unless you plan on Ubering, which is also a great option.  Check out some of the delicious taco and cocktail pairings you can enjoy on Tuesday!

Border Grill

  • Yucatan Pork Taco - With pineapple jicama salsa
  • Route 43 - Jalepeno infused chinaco blanco, licor 43, passion fruit, fresh lime, agave syrup

This taco was incredible. I could have eaten five of them!  The meat was so tender, moist and flavorful and the avocado added a delightful creamy texture to every bite.  I also loved the pickled salsa.  It gave the taco that slight cut of acidity that rounded out the palate experience! The cocktail had a little too much kick for my preference, but if you like it hot, get one!  

Mercado

  • Gringa Taco - Spit roasted pastor, Oaxaca cheese, onions, chile de arbol salsa, flour tortilla
  • Spicy Cucumber Margarita - Silver tequila, house jalepeno puree, chipotle salt rim

    This taco and margarita pairing was perfect.  Iloved how the salsa matched the vibrant green of the margarita! I also liked the melted cheese, who doesn't?  The meat had the right amount of heat and the margarita had the right amount of sweet, which made me happy to bite, sip, bite, sip, bite, sip...

Loteria Grill

  • Papa Con Rajas - Potatoes, roasted poblano peppers, salsa verde cruda, onion, cilantro, queso fresco
  • Carne Deshebrada - Braised shredded beef, guacamole, salsa roje chipotle, onion, cilantro
  • Carnitas en Salsa Morita - Michoacan-style, spicy chile morita, avocado, onion, cilanto
  • Huachinago Estilo Ensenada - Beer battered red snapper, green & red shredded cabbage, chipotle-avocado aioli, fresh pico de gallo
  • Margaritas - Jalepeno, Clasica, Ginger

    At Loteria it was game on.  These guys are always prepared and ready to throw down delicious tacos at any moment.  They brought some incredible offerings to the table.  My favorite was the Huachinago Estilo Ensenada.  The batter and snapper had this unique sweetness that's hard to describe.  Not sweet like a dessert, but sweet like a loaf of bread fresh from the oven.   It was well complemented by the savory salsa and smokey chipotle.  The Clasica was my favorite margarita...can't beat fresh lime and salt! 

Blue Plate Taco

  • Fish Taco - Grilled fish with chipotle aioli and guacamole
  • Short Rib Taco - Cabbage, cilantro, onion and salsa verde
  • Medicina Latina - Tequila, fresh ginger, lime agave, mescal spritz
  • El Matador - Tequila, blood orange, rosemary, lime, jalepeno, campari

    Okay, Blue Plate had the liveliest atmosphere.  Whoever did their decor gets an A+, totally set the accurate party-all-night vibe and it's super close to the water so you feel like you're actually on vacation.  This fish taco wasn't as tasty to me as the Loteria taco was, but the short rib was good stuff!  I also loved how bright these cocktails were!  The El Matador was very creative flavor-wise.  The orange and rosemary were sexy choices.  I'm all about sexy tasting cocktails.

Copa D'Ora

  • Copa de Loco - Tequila, aperol, lime juice, agave, grapefruit juice, dash of orange bitters
  • Midnight Mariachi - Tequila reposado, Montenegro, cynar, dash Jerry Thomas bitters

    By the time we got to Copa, I didn't think it was a good idea to consume any more tequila, so I only had tiny tastes of both of these bad boys.  The Midnight Mariachi was like a tequila old-fashioned, so if you're into stiff drinks, you'd be pleased.  

I hope this menu breakdown was helpful...have a spicy and safe Cinco friends! 

Listings
Border Grill
Mercado
Loteria Grill
Blue Plate Taco
Copa D'ora

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