My Los Angeles: Westside Wednesdays

A cheap night out: Don Antonio’s and Liquid Kitty

Liquid Kitty

 

Wednesday night in West L.A. is the cheap night to dine and drink. Dollar tacos at Don Antonio’s and $5 martinis across the street at Liquid Kitty make for a good night out when money is an object.


Don Antonio’s has been serving dollar tacos on Wednesdays for years and, in these economically challenged times, they are more popular than ever. The taco menu is small—chicken, beef, carne asada, potato and bean—but they are flavorful and three of them make for a hearty meal especially when paired with a margarita. The strawberry margaritas are large, reasonably priced and the taste of tequila lingers.

Unfortunately, the Don’s service and atmosphere is not so stellar. Long waits for drinks are not uncommon and even a request for a glass of water can be a challenge to the wait staff. The atmosphere isn’t the greatest either: the place is small, dark, and noisy, and on the patio, diners are seated in uncomfortable plastic lawn chairs, most likely purchased at a corner drugstore. But thankfully, the bill makes up for the downside: dinner for two with two margaritas and six tacos come to an affordable $21.

But come early: the place is full of families and groups of friends who get there just as the tacos start making their appearances out of the kitchen at 5 p.m. and the crowd lasts until well after dark. Parking in the neighborhood is tight but valet service is available.

When you’re done with your tacos, step across Pico Blvd. for a post-dinner martini at  Liquid Kitty.

A beacon for cocktailers everywhere. Photo: Liquid Kitty

The Kitty, with its distinctive martini and burning cigarette neon sign out front, is cut from the cloth of old-school cocktail lounges of yore. It features a well-stocked dark wood bar that is decorated with photos of Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Robert Redford and other cocktail-cool icons. Movies, silently screened, are featured on the back wall. They range from ‘60s black-and-white B movies to ‘70s karate films to recent classics like Pulp Fiction.

But the drinks are what keep the crowds coming back. $5 medium-sized martinis from The Kitty’s Economic Aid drink menu are the catch of the day. Wednesday night is iPod night where the best 20-minute iPod set, submitted by a bar patron, gets rewarded with a free drink. There are other drink specials that are featured mid-week. Other nights feature music provided by a DJ or a live band.

Best of all, the bartenders are talented and friendly and the clientele is relaxed and unpretentious. It’s a great spot for a short drop-in at the start of an evening out or for a nightcap when the evening is over.

The Kitty has no cover and valet parking is available.


 

Don Antonio’s
11755 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064

 

Liquid Kitty
11780 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064
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