(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)
The Mexican Village
What began as a family operation remains so — and that goes for both ownership and the recipes in Koreatown’s hacienda-style Mexican Village, the kind of restaurant where papel picado hangs from the rafters and one can wash down a sizzling fajita platter with more than 50 tequilas and mezcales. Founded by Abel Olivares Sr. in 1965, this margarita-happy spot with weekly live entertainment and a lengthy list of combo-plate classics was the culmination of the chef’s years in and out of various kitchens, including a few of his own: L.A. hot dog stand Abel’s Place and Cantamar Restaurant in Baja, among others. His menu just west of Silver Lake incorporated recipes from his wife, Maria Garcia Olivares, which are still served today by three of the couple’s four children, who now run the Mexican Village together. There’s live entertainment multiple nights of the week, but the draws here are the many food and drink options — including a list of cocktails known as the “avoid gridlock specialty drinks” — in a festive setting. Can’t decide on a flavor or style from the bevy of margaritas? We loved the tangy, tart tamarind.
-Los Angeles Times
September 15, 2022