Velvet Margarita: Hollywood’s Kitschy Cantina

drinksHollywood Boulevard between La Brea and Gower is like show business Disneyland. With El Capitan, The Roosevelt, Hollywood & Highland Center and the Wax Museum, the neighborhood is a tourist mecca. Not to mention the stars on the Walk of Fame. Most locals only go there to see movies at The Egyptian and to eat at Musso & Frank’s.

If you do find yourself ferrying out-of-town relatives around the glamorous Boulevard, you can always duck into the Velvet Margarita for a respite. Sure, it’s still kind of like Disneyland inside, but it is a cool Disneyland. Walls and ceilings are adorned with sparkly silver sombreros, Dia de los Muertos figures and the velvet paintings for which the restaurant is named. The music is a mixture of inoffensive punk rock (The Ramones) and 70s guilty pleasures (The Piña Colada Song). The service is extremely friendly and there is a huge patio in the back that features live music.

What more could you expect from Big Daddy Carlos? You may know the owner, Carlos, as a promoter, DJ, booker and manager of Hollywood nightclubs. But we will always remember him as the doorman at David Lee Roth’s after-hours club The Zero. In 2000, Carlos and his wife Ava Berman formed the F.O.M.M. Corporation to purchase real estate along the Cahuenga corridor. They opened Velvet Margarita on Cinco de Mayo, 2004, and a new Hollywood hangout was born. A popular spot for after parties, you might even spot Bootsy Collins there if you are lucky.

Happy Hour lasts until 8pm with $5 margaritas and half-price appetizers. On Sundays and Mondays you get two taco platters for the price of one. There is always some kind of special going on and you just have to ask the server. I recommend the steak tacos, which are made with Top Sirloin and don’t have a bit of gristle or fat on them. The platters come with soup or salad. They have an interesting shrimp bisque made with tequila.

As the name suggests, this place is all about the margaritas. You may want to go classic and order an “Ultimate Margarita” on the rocks. But we suggest going for something blended, the fruitier the better. Hell, just go ahead and order the Royal Velvet in a pineapple or the Piña Colada, which is served in a coconut. Impress your relatives. Just don’t order the Pink Puta. I don’t know what’s in it, but you’re just going to have to trust me on this one.

All food and drinks were hosted

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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