I’m going to say something unpopular. Bloody Marys are the worst. Tomatoes suck, celery sucks and there’s just something weird about spicy drinks. But I must say that I am glad that Hash Kitchen has made the big bucks off of having an incredible Bloody Mary bar. Why? Because it has enabled them to expand out to Chandler for their latest Grand Opening. And because I got to snag a bunch of the meats and cheeses from the Bloody Mary bar to decorate my beer. It may be frowned upon normally, but at the Grand Opening anything goes. As expected, the bacon was the best.
The word “princess” does not exactly evoke words like “affordable,” down to earth” or “reasonable.” So, when I found out we were going out for Mexican food at a place called La Hacienda at the Fairmount Scottsdale Princess Hotel, I braced for the worse in terms of how expensive the meal would be. I truly just can’t understand the purpose of expensive Mexican food unless the place is blazing new trails. I hoped that La Hacienda would do just that.
It’s not often that I eat at a new place (for me) twice before getting a chance to review that place. Yet, that weirdly happened with Hash Kitchen, a breakfast spot (no, not a dispensary) with a few locations around the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. As you may expect, they specialize in Bloody Marys. Okay, but also in different kinds of hash if you’re not in a Bloody Mary mood, which I literally never am.
Ever since starting my job in Torrance, one of my coworkers has not stopped talking about the tacos at Los Paisas. Finally, we made our way there so I could see what he was always yammering about. I quickly found out that Los Paisas was more than just a restaurant, it was also a bakery and mini-market. As good as multiple identities are, though, all I cared about was tacos.
In an unassuming little part of Santa Monica lies Lares, a Mexican Restaurant with an old-timey Mexican look and feel on both the outside and inside. It has the kind of wide menu I’ve come to expect from unassuming Mexican restaurants around LA, but I had heard that of all their options, their carnitas were the bee’s knees. Carnitas are like Mexican pulled pork and usually not my first choice in Mexican food, but I figured I would be a fool to not try them at Lares.
You can’t throw a stone* in LA without hitting a Mexican place that someone happens to call their favorite. It could be a shack, a hole in the wall or even an old-fashioned sit down restaurant. The variety seems only limited by the amount of physical space in LA and those damn zoning laws. As I’ve eaten my way through the city, I’ve creativity galore and more Mexican foods than I knew existed growing up on Taco Bell in Michigan. Some have been delicious, while others have failed me. On my latest foray into someone’s favorite Mexican place, I ended up at El Abajeno in Culver City.