Chef Jose Acevedo’s Mercado has become a familiar name within L.A.’s Mexican food scene, now spanning five locations across town from Pasadena down to Manhattan Beach. Their Third Street location, with its semi-outdoor patio, is ideal for enjoying some delicious small plates and sipping on any of their 50-plus bottles of tequila, which range from crisp blancos to full-bodied extra añejos. The vegetarian choriqueso dip or cauliflower tacos al pastor pair well with the excellent house margarita. There’s something special about a classic recipe being executed perfectly, but we also recommend their flor de jamaica cocktail that comes with reposado tequila, lime, a lemongrass simple syrup and floral hibiscus for some bright tartness.
L.A. is definitely no stranger to the delights of tequila and mezcal, regardless of whether you enjoy sipping it neat or mixed into a smoky cocktail. But with Mexico only a few hours away, the city’s bar scene is constantly evolving as new imports continue to shake up drink menus across town. Other agave-based spirits like raicilla, bacanora and sotol are now becoming more and more commonplace—and are introducing patrons to regional specialties and nuanced flavor profiles. From Santa Monica to Highland Park, here are the bars and restaurants currently offering the best menus for all things agave.
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