Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

El Carmen

8138 W. Third St. (La Jolla Ave.) Send to Phone
323-852-1552 | Menu
The food chain in this blood-red hipster hangout is as follows: drinks are first, food is secondary; the twist is that the Mexican fare here is actually better than average.
Your Opinion
Add your own review

Local Deals: 120 * 90

Cuisine
Open
Dinner nightly
Open past midnight
Features

* Click here for rating key

  • 4.5 star rating
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
4.5 rating over 3 reviews

El Carmen Restaurant Review

: This Tijuana-inspired tequila and taco bar is a longtime favorite among the L.A. hip. Decorated with deep-red walls, dark woods, colorful (though dim) lanterns and traditional Mexican wrestling masks, the atmosphere is definitely unique, oddly festive and certainly well-suited to the cadre of starlets and black-clad screenwriters who frequent the place. While El Carmen may be known for its almost comically long list of tequila offerings (more than 300), some revelers have returned for the shrimp and sole ceviche with lime and cucumber or the sweet corn tamales smothered in black beans. Tacos are surprisingly decent, as are nachos topped with fresh guacamole. Those looking for dessert can choose between apple fritters and churros. But make no mistake --- the menu is clearly meant to accompany the drinks, and not vice versa.

User Ratings & Reviews for El Carmen
 
GAYOT has uncovered the best restaurants in (and around) Los Angeles for you to enjoy right now
Top 25 Restaurants in Los Angeles to Eat at Right Now

Check out this crop of L.A. restaurants you just can't miss.

Read more




RESTAURANT AWARDS 2016

Sign up to receive the 2016 edition of GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Issue, which will feature the Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. and more.