Party Earth Review For an upbeat vibe no doubt helped along by one of the best selections of tequila in LA, patrons will want to head to the kitschy El Carmen, a bustling cantina popular with a laid-back clientele of young professionals... ... read full review
8138 West Third Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
M–F 5pm–2am, Sa–Su 7pm–2am
BEVERLY GROVE, LOS ANGELES –
For an upbeat vibe no doubt helped along by one of the best selections of tequila in LA, patrons will want to head to the kitschy El Carmen, a bustling cantina popular with a laid-back clientele of young professionals, artsy types, and neighborhood regulars.
The small one-room space is packed to the gills with campy details like red velvet curtains, mounted bulls’ heads, and black velvet paintings of luchadores (Mexican pro wrestlers) hung on the arched ceiling. But there’s still plenty of room for the approachable crowd to mix and mingle under the skylight and paper chandeliers, which somehow lend an airier feel to the close quarters.
Those lucky enough to snag one of the tables along the mirror-paneled wall can enjoy their margaritas and cheap tacos in the comfort of the low, cushioned banquettes, while the rest of the hip and chatty crowd can elbow their way to the bar, where over four hundred types of tequila illuminated by fish-tank lamps with luchadore figurines inside provide a conversation piece for the cool but easygoing regulars and after-work clients perched on the vintage 70s bar stools.
Fueled by a steady diet of rock classics from the jukebox and a constant happy buzz, El Carmen manages to create a festive Cinco de Mayo atmosphere that attracts a good-looking crowd of fun and flirty singles every night of the week.
Outgoing, friendly, hip, and laid-back urbanites, after-work regulars, and tequila-lovers, early 20s to 30s.
Jukebox features classic rock tunes from Hendrix and Led Zeppelin to The Clash and David Bowie.
Mexican cuisine. Happy Hour M–F 5–7pm.
Appetizers $4+, tacos $3.25+, entrées $6+. Beer $5+, margaritas $8.50+, tequila $7–$350, tequila flights $25–$75. Valet $6.
Jeans and hoodies, work attire, designer casual.
Thursdays through Saturdays draw the biggest standing-room-only crowds.
Doughboys Café (8136 West Third Street) next door is good for late-night snacks, sandwiches, and breakfast. Access also through the bathroom it shares with El Carmen.