An Epic LA Tequila Crawl

Wherever you wander in search of tequila, we’ve got you covered…

Salazar. Photo courtesy of White Oak Communications

Wherever you wander in search of tequila, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few of our favorites:

Chef-restauranteur Josef Centeno is the man responsible for turning Downtown’s unassuming Historic Core into one of the buzziest culinary hotspots in the city, and Bar Amá might just be his most personal venture to date. Inspired by the Tex-Mex cooking chef Centeno grew up on, this tiny cantina serves updated takes on casual bar fare alongside excellent tequila-infused cocktails. The mountainous “Super Nachos” piled with layers of salsa, gooey queso, and chopped jalapeños are a favorite. True regulars know that the off-menu made-to-order puffy tacos are the best companion for Bar Amá’s lasciviously spicy chili-lime “Nacho Vidal” cocktail, named after Spain’s most infamous porn star.

Bar Flores. Photo by Kevin Vu Kim

Stepping into Bar Flores’ bougainvillea covered back patio feels like entering a neighborhood hideout in Mexico City. Mismatched chairs, eclectic umbrellas, glowing orb-shaped lanterns and live music set the mood at this vibrant Echo Park hangout. Started as a pop-up, it now has a permanent home above the recently opened Lowboy and Adamae. While you might have to sift your way through a crowd of stylish Silverlake residents to reach the stunning bar, you will be rewarded with fragrant citrus margaritas and Earl Grey-infused tequila tonics tasty (and strong) enough to convince you to order a full pitcher.

Bar Flores Altar. Photo by Kevin Vu Kim.

While this Oaxacan restaurant offers a dazzling assortment of margaritas mixed with everything from sweet prickly pear liqueur to the slightly bitter house-made blue curaçao, you’re here for their staggering collection of mezcals. The bartenders have an encyclopedic knowledge of the nearly 400 bottles lining the bar’s shelves, so even if you do not consider yourself an expert, you won’t be led astray. Once you tell the bartender what you like, they’ll zip behind the bar to grab a handful of bottles for you to smell. After you’ve made your selection, the bartender will pour your pick into a traditional clay mug with a side of grapefruit and yes, dried crickets.

Since opening its bright and airy doors back in 2014, this modern Mexican restaurant in the heart of West Hollywood has been a champion for sustainability and plant-based food. Gracias Madre’s eco-consciousness also extends to every single bottle displayed behind the bar. When it comes to curating their agave spirits, Gracias Madre is decidedly old school. While most brands rely on modern diffuser technology to efficiently produce their tequila, Gracias Madre only highlights independent producers and small-batch distillers. These use ancestral methods that go easy on Mother Nature and lose the chemicals. Maxwell Reis, the beverage director of GM’s WeHo location, has created a signature cocktail menu which showcases the craftsmanship of these ethically produced tequilas, from a Oaxacan-style Old Fashioned to a zesty Paloma.

Whether you come to Salazar’s open-air patio for a casual after-work drink or a boozy Saturday evening dinner, this Sonoran-style joint in Frogtown hits the spot. Their desert-like outdoor space complete with cacti and colorful seating offers a sweet oasis from the Eastside’s elbow-to-elbow bars. Salazar’s extensive tequila list is impressive on its own, but if you prefer your libations mixed, Salazar’s no-frills margaritas will do the trick. Add a few tacos and a plate of Salazar’s grilled jumbo shrimp drizzled with smoky pico de gallo for the full boozy delicious effect.

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JJ

about 2 years ago

Great read! Tons of spots I need to check out

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