The Tar Pit

"Ciudad Downtown"



"My Baby Blues"


"Chaya Can Stand Under my Umbrella"



"Barney's Beanery"

"The Cat & Fiddle"

"Nic's Martini Lounge"


"Six Degrees of Belmont"

"The Hudson"

"The Lobster"


"Been There, Den That"

"La Boheme"

"St. Felix"

"A Taste of Mexico"

By Maren Swanson



Upon entering the aqua-painted doors of, Mexico, a gold placard posted catches my eye. It reads: The Doors Workshop. In 1970, “L.A. Woman,” was recorded here. In what used to house a recording studio for Jim Morrison, now has been replaced with a festive restaurant, Mexico. As I'm sure Jim was once inspired by the surrounding acoustic walls, I too become entranced by the by the loudly vibrant and colorful setting.


I feel transported to a foreign town, and I forget that it took me only 10 minutes to get here. My “crew” and I are greeted by, Larry Nicola (owner), who offers us an upper deck table showing off the Hollywood Hills and the ongoing rush hour traffic of Santa Monica Boulevard. I release a relaxed sigh, pleased I'm not being rushed anywhere at this moment. The manager approaches our table and presents us with the Happy Hour specials.


Each day, the restaurant features a daily margarita of their choice which are all $5. Today’s option was presented as,"The Prickly Pear Margarita." Being an Arizona native, I remember that a prickly pear is a magenta- colored and edible cactus fruit. I have never witnessed such an exotic-looking cocktail (it practically matches the colors of the wall).


Very often, I am increasingly weary of establishments boasting a competitive margarita. The great part here is that all of the margaritas are fresh-squeezed, so I have no problem ordering an additional “house” margarita.


We order the house-made guacamole, fresh roasted corn off the cob, duck taquitos, grilled shrimp, tres tacos and the quesadilla. The corn is outrageous; tossed in a light butter with seasonings and a hint of smoke. Next, my eyes direct me to the duck taquitos, which are topped with the fresh guacamole and queso cotija. It’s one pleasant bite after another. Appetizers are all $5, too.


The sun slowly sets and the only thing missing is an ocean view and a beachside villa. Well for now, this “LA Woman” seems perfectly content leaving her passport at home and enjoying her own neighborhood slice of Mexico.