La Cuevita in Highland Park: A Tequila & Mezcal Bar for the rest of us

la cuevita signage

The ghetto hipsters of Highland Park have a new place to get shitfaced. La Cuevita opens up Friday night (May 4th) and it is just what this lovely city needs: An agave-spirit centered bar where we don’t have to spend a week’s budget. The Glutster was invited for an early tasting this last Tuesday and this is what that fucker drank.

La Cuevita bar
The bar, all new and shiny.


la cuevita  cocktail
La Cuevita cocktail


Fidencio Mezcal


Mezcalada at La Cuevita
La Mezcalada

Mole Manhattan
Mole Manhattan


la cuevita drink menu
Cocktail Menu


Mezcal Los Nahuales at La Cuevita
Mezcal Los Nahuales


La Cuevita Tequila Menu
Tequila and Mezcal List (for now)

“We want this place to be more of a sipping establishment” Jared Mort, the 1933 Group’s bartender that was called into action for La Cuevita tells me as I am the first and only of the night to ask for the pure Tequila and Mezcal menu. And by the looks of the prices for the agave libations, it looks like they actually mean it. There are only a a couple that break the $15 mark and the rest are all ready for working class enjoyment. The cocktails are still in the works, the Mezcalada sounds better than it actually is with only a 1/2 ounce of Mezcal used and probably even less of the roasted poblano tomato cocktail used to flavor it (think of a watery beer-y Mary). But then again, it’s only $8 and there are free AYCE tacos to make up for it if you are there on a Tuesday night.

But if you must cloak your poison with a bunch of sweet syrups and flavors, go for the Mole Manhattan. A bit sweet but still bitter and fully brute with cacao flavored booze.

The ambiance is definitely better than the old Gothic-y Little Cave days. They opened up all the windows and the image of Emiliano Zapata will gaze deep into your eyes as you imbibe Mexican history. Just hope that the live agave crops hanging off the patio walls as you walk in won’t fall on you.

la cuevita art
agave wall


La Cuevita gets bonus point for playing a steady flow of Ramon Ayala and other corridos through out the night though.

La Cuevita

5922 North Figueroa St,

Highland Park.



Arriba El Tequila Festival Happening Tomorrow at A Mi Hacienda Vieja (Featuring 15+ Tequilas; Pico Rivera; PURO PINCHE PARI)

For Immediate PURO PINCHE PARI Release:


I will be there assisting el Tequilero homie Chuy Tovar at the Real De Mexico Tequila booth. So, you all know what that means! Yup, we will be hand muddling spicy, agave sweetened Real Mexican’s made with fresh Cilantro and fresh squeezed lime all night long!

The Real Mexican
The Real Mexican: Cilantro, Jalapeño, Lime Juice, Agave

So come by and say hi, the list of Tequilas will cover all 8 regions of Jalisco so you will be able to personally experience the “pepperiness” of the lowlands and the smoothness of the highlands. There will also be some of the “middlelands” stuff as well that combine a little bit of both characteristics.

There will be free house appetizers to get your drunk munchies on while you imbibe Mexico’s ancestral national spirit.

Tickets are available pre-sale for $15 by calling the number on the flier (323) 515-4713 and for $20 the day of at the door.


Doors open at 6 PM

Tickets available by calling (323) 515-4713 for $15 Pre-Sale and $20 At The Door
(Presidents Weekend)

A Mi Hacienda Restaurant
9613 Whittier Boulevard,
Pico Rivera,
CA 90660
(562) 699-2500 ?

Ask The Glutster: Ideas For O.G Mexican Mothers Day?

Hola Javier,

We met once at a talk that Daniel Hernandez did for Zocalo at MOMA. We were supposed to check out barbacoa de contrabando…sorry i did not get back to you, man.
Hope it was good.

Oye, question?

Where should we take our Mom for Mother’s Day?
She is og mexican, so we need smoething that tastes good, and is a little special for Mother’s Day, tal vez un mariachi? no se? Que recomiendas?

Hope you are doing well.


Sup’ Panchito?

There is a great Mexican proverb out there that says: “Madre no hay más que una” (Mother there is, but only one).

And well, for all the times she would not eat to make sure you do, for all those times she made you lunch when you were running late to school, for all those times she picked you up no matter where were you were at, regardless of the time or what she was doing. And for being the only woman to love you as unconditionally as she does…

I think she deserves absolutely nothing short but the best all day on this magnificent day, hell if not every day for that matter. And since she is “o.g Mexican” and happens to reside here in the good ol’ El Norte, she will most likely get spoiled twice. One on the American Mother’s Day followed by Dia De Las Madres, as she should!

For an enticing but still traditional breakfast, why not try the Chilaquiles at Guelaguetza? This leftover tortilla breakfast of champions gets the Southern Oaxacan treatment here, being made from the heftier daily tortilla known as Clayudas that Oaxacans take pride in. And I just called up the homie–owner of the Olympic location–confirmed that they will have live music all day Sunday and dinner Monday.

Another awesome brunch spot would be the Vallarta prided Pescado Zarandeado over at Mariscos Martin in El Monte. The adobo-rubbed, charred whole fish is legit and ranks in my top 3 Mexican in L.A, and am pretty sure you can give a couple of dollars to the roaming musicians in return for a heartfelt performance of “Por El Amor De Mi Madre”.

And last but not definitely least, I am willing to put my word that La Casita Mexicana will not disappoint. There might not be live music, but there will be the deftly prepared northern Mexican antojitos classics and the two most genuine, lovable Mexican chefs in the world probably. Jaime and Ramiro do not have their own weekly segment on Univision’s Despierta American for nothing. And they just informed me that they will have 4 additional special dishes on both Sunday and Monday, including their juicy Cochinita Pibil, a Chamorro (braised beef shank) dish, and the elusive Mole Blanco. And of course their crack filled churritos!

If you’re really down, why not bond over a fine drink together at Las Perlas Tequila/Mezcal bar in downtown. I know it was considered disrespectful in old times to drink with your parents but “pero no mas una copita mami, andale!”

buen provecho and mucho love to your mom.

(El O.G “Hijo Desobediente”)

mommy and me

3014 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006

Mariscos Martin
13430 Valley Blvd
La Puente, CA 91746
(626) 330-5722

La Casita Mexicana
4030 Gage Ave Bell,
CA 90201
(323) 773-1898

Las Perlas
103 East 6th Street
Los Angeles
CA 90014
(213) 988-8355

IX Tijuana Tequila Expo 2009: 3 Day’s Straight

9th annual Tijuana Tequila Expo!

Tequila hasn’t gotten as much attention as it deserves in my life as a Mexican American. Would had loved to enjoy it in an earlier point in life, but was always subdued by the smallest bottle of East L.A punk youth favorite: Jack Daniels, or even cheaper, despicable Popov vodka, both…straight swigs of course. In between songs in my back yard punk day’s, it would do the job.

My earliest memories of Tequila are of chilly Christmas or New Year’s eve’s, my mom’s side of the family would brew Ponche con piquete , a motley winter brew of anything sweet that grows (pomegranates, Jocotes, Guavas, Apples etc) on trees infused with cinnamon tea…along with a generous dash of Sauza blanco, that was the Piquete, the “bite”. I would never get a full cup but would always get a thirsty sip from my mom, only for everyone to laugh at me as I cringed and felt the vicious burn run down my esophagus and into my stomach.

It was time to record new memories (and fuzzy ones at that).

In these three day’s…it was time to learn bit more about my heritage, I knew there had to be some better Tequilas out there, right?

Thanks again to the strenuous efforts of the foodbloggero elder StreetGourmetLA, we were to spend three days and two short nights stumbling in the illustrious streets of Tijuana, Baja California, drinking and eating our way through town to better understand Mexican culture.

Considered an unofficial “Part II” of our earlier epic Tijuana foodblogger family trip that took place last July, this featured only the truly dedicated bloggers of the last trip, including Food GPS, Gourmet Pigs, Pleasure Palate, Kung Food Panda and Eating L.A, amongst some that only joined us for one short day. Even Chef John Sedlar of the popular Rivera Restaurant in Downtown was spinning inspiration from T.J’s great splendors.

A quick crash course in the art of Tequila.

By law, Tequila can only be made in the state of Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacan and Tamaulipas and Nayarit. Anywhere else, it can not be labeled Tequila. Nonetheless, Jalisco still controls the market since its one of the few states abundant in rich volcanic soil, perfect for growing the Blue Agave plants. Only after 8-10 years of caring and tending are the piñas (pineapple shaped base) ready to be pulled out, roasted, then extracted of its sweet liquid to be fermented into alcohol.

A fine example of a piña

When cooked, the Mezcal is also a popular inedible snack with a smoky, sugar cane like flavor and texture.

Knowing that I was stepping into a country where the legal drinking age was 18, I was determined to Carpe Diem–FULLY take advantage of all my temporary privileges.

tequila expo first booth oh yeah

Already, the first taste was a splendid sip.

los tres toños

Los Tres Toños Extra Añejo is aged for three years in bourbon cask and grown in the central lowlands of Amatitlan. This starter shot had noses of molasses and faint dried fruit with sweet Vanillin finishes, only the subtlest burn…not a bad start.

Gimmicky sounding and labeling, but with a respectable taste actually.

Chamuco’s (“Demon”) Reposado brand, aged six months in white oak barrels with a 38 proof, this taste was quite straightforward with mostly spice notes, smooth, with no throat burn at all.

Per the wisdom of Streetgourmetla, a general rule of thumb is that the hotter the Tequila model, the worse the Tequila will be.

random models

As was the case with this random brand I can’t even remember, tasted like motor oil though.

The flavored Tequilas deserved some attention to, being a nice little sweet break from the hardcore tasting.

A refreshingly tart pomegranate infused Tequila from La Pinta brand; lanky, girl-body background courtesy of my profused buzzness enhanced attention to girls.

Feeling Fuzzy, not just picture–

Tequila con Jamaica was stronger than expected, keeping that sweet-tart flavor of it but with that renown burn.

Of the three day’s, the showstopper had to be “Volcan De Mi Tierra’s” Reposado, aged 6-8 month’s. A product of El Arenal, Jalisco, this was a definite underdog; an unexpected small producer with only an old man sporting a handlebar mustache at the table, no ditsy model or fancy engraved bottle in sight.

The nose on this was surprisingly light, not burning the inside of your nostril or making your eyes roll over. It smelled simple, herbaceous, like taking a small whiff of a stalk on a hot, dry day.

volcan de mi tierra

The flavor was phenomenal: a crisp, nutty beginning, a fluid, oak-y continuation and alas the sweet, elegant burn tickling your throat–not torching it.

An added bonus, some primordial Pulque!

Cured with Guava: Multiple flavors usually available like Walnut, Tuna etc.
br />Milky, viscous and tart in texture, Pulque was the original beverage of Mexico with it’s earliest records being 200 C.E, 1319 years before the Spanish conquest.

Originally, it was reserved as a purely ritual drink due to the Maguey’s sacredness, drunk only by priest’s and sacrifice victims to….yeah. It takes a maguey plant twelve years to produce the sap for this wonderjuice. Unlike Tequila which only uses the cooked heart of only the Blue Agave, Pulque is made with the uncooked whole Maguey plant, stalks and all.

It’s popularity has decreased severely over the generations, the introduction of European Beer basically killed it off, being given a ‘dirty and low class’ appeal when the first beer manufacturing plants started showing up in Mexico around the beginning of the 20th Cntury. Now, it’s almost completely forgotten.

It is really hard to find this authentic drink outside of Mexico City, Hidalgo and Tlaxcala states–at least the unpasteurized, thick, layered, legit stuff. They sell it now here in the states, but it’s pasteurized, sweetened and all that other usual stuff that’s done to American products.

Oh well, I fully appreciated it, getting a full glass cup of the luxurious stuff every day I went, and event taking a pint home, illegally.

layers of complexities
Just take a gander and behold the Layers of sun kissed complexities

Hasta La Proxima…

Subject: Tequila Expo this weekend in Tijuana…wish me luck, seriously


two day’s and two nights of educational debauchery!

…all for the sake of knowing my roots of course:)

I wish at least one of my homiez from the hood had their passport so they can join me though!

get your passports now!


Hasta Luego.