8138 W Third St, Los Angeles, CA | Directions 9004834.072303 -118.367205
Neighborhoods: Central LA, Beverly Center
This neighborhood bar is still going strong. Their margaritas have gotten better and more creative. Fresh fruit, unusual flavors, it all works deliciously. Nachos are a great way to sober up.
Love their pineapple infused shots. Tacos and tamales are so good. The decor is also very fun.
Try the Cactus Fruit Margarita! – The cactus fruit margarita is amazing! The guava is yummy too. I always have my friends try a shot of the Fusion... it's tequila marinated in pineapple. Although it's frequented by the Hollywood-type, I like El Carmen for it's 'authentic tendencies.' The red sauce on the enchiladas is really good; it's not a salty wanna-be Mexican sauce. The asada tacos are tasty and so are the flautas. fyi - service is consistently mediocre.
Cinco De Mayo, Get there no later than 7:30 to avoid a line – I went here two years ago for Cinco De Mayo and had the best time. The highlight of the night ,were the large Margaritas!
However, I was a bit disappointed this year. They no longer have the large Margaritas. That was the main reason why I chose El Carmens, but all in all it was still a fun atmosphere and the drinks were good. Nothing beats El Carmens when it comes to Cinco De Mayo. ;)
p.s I would of given 5 stars but the not having the large Margaritas really disappointed me, plus one of the bartenders was a bit on the snobby side that night. Who goes to a bar to get attitude from a bartender, especially when you are tipping them? Not me! I would stick to the male bartender, he is a really cool guy plus he makes the drinks really good.
All Around Great – New to the neighborhood, and am definitely making this my place. Friendly, competent bartenders make a strong drink - all of which are very good. Some of the best margaritas in LA, and there's innumerable tequilas to sample. And whoever said "don't eat here" is WAY off the mark. The chips and salsa with guacamole was the best I've had in years. The cheese enchiladas were excellent as well, and inexpensive. Dinner for 4 people with 2 beers was $61. Great value anywhere, especially on 3rd St.
Great margs – Don't eat here, but definitely head over after dinner at dougboy's for the best margarita in LA and a perfect jukebox crowd.
My personal favorite bar in LA – I've been going to El Carmen consistently for about 2 years now, and have come to the conclusion that it is my favorite drinking spot in LA. Not only is the atmosphere and decor awesome (good music, slightly trendy but still laid-back crowd, and you've got to love all the lucha libre decor) but the drinks and food are very good. If you're planning on eating dinner there late night, definitely call ahead -- they have a table in the back for large groups, and the place tends to fill up. They do, however, keep tables for those dining -- just there for drinks = standing room/a lucky snag of a seat at the bar only. I highly recommend the potato flautas -- or the nachos, if you're sharing -- and grab a spicy margarita or a pineapple infused tequila to drink. The servers can get a little forgetful when it gets super packed, but the bartenders tend to be right on their game -- i have, however, had a tough time convincing them to sell me one of the Tito la Brea paintings off the wall. We'll see where that goes.
Best Margaritas in L.A. – If you like your margaritas blended/frozen, this is the place to go. Seriously. Very seriously. It's as if they use a smoothie machine. The perfect consistency, deeelicious flavor! Mmm, I want one now. Happy hour weekdays 5-7 is beyond awesome, $3 for the best margaritas in town? Unbelievable. That's less than what I just paid for a small vanilla latte ($3.05 at the Coffee Bean). Good small bites too, vege tacos, enchiladas with a great spicy ranchero sauce, warm chips and salsa/guacamole.
Very cool decor. Small, laid-back vibe, like you're in Mexico, not on West 3rd street in the middle of L.A. Wide wide selection of tequilas (although I just stick with the house margs) and a cool drink called the Mexican Painkiller, which is basically a combination of a margarita and a pina colada.
Cool matchbooks too, if you're into that.
Awesome food & Margaritas!! – Not only do they have the best margaritas, but the food is AWESOME!! The food to me is authentic.. unlike the person below me stated. Tacos are a la carte and not served with tons of fillers like non-authentic places serve them. Their tomatillo ribs are to die for! The elote is awesome.. and the fish tacos are my fav.
Trust me. The food is delish.
Black velvet paintings and more than 300 kinds of tequila--but you don't need a passport to get into this bar. – The Scene
If "Twin Peaks" director David Lynch designed a south-of-the-border bar, this is what it would be like. Mounted bull heads watch over tequila drinkers, while black velvet paintings of Mexican wrestlers survey the room. The theme carries over to the wrestler masks hanging from the ceiling and the Pulp-style art covering the walls. The surreal mood is locked in when the jukebox jams its fourth Michael Jackson song in the last hour and no one even notices.
The kitsch factor draws its share of hipsters, but El Carmen also gets its fair share of the sleek and chic who come for the tequila, baby. There are more than 420 varieties to choose from; the sampler platter offers a sip or two of several different types. Or try a Mexjito, a delicious, tequila-based take on the mojito.
Best Margaritas – They have the best drinks! The cactus fruit margarita is one of the best margaritas I've ever had. You should definitely try it. The food is horrible and it is NOT authentic like the person below me stated, but after a couple of drinks you won't know if it is authentic or not. Great bar!
I love El Carmen!! – This is my favorite place to go with the girls, or on dates. The decor is awesome and it's very dark and sultry. Their margaritas don't give me headache the next day, the staff is genuinely friendly and the food is authentic Mexican at a great price. And I love that I don't have to order a full dinner if I'm not that hungry. They sell their tacos a la carte. El Carmen rules!!!!!!!
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