445 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Parking: Underground parking at Union Bank complex, entrance on Figueroa – $5 with Ciudad validation
Monday – Friday, 4-7 pm; all night on Sundays, $4.50 House Mojitos, Margaritas, Caipirinha, Sangria, Select Beer & Wine, $3 tacos, $5 guacamole and quesadillas, $10-11.50 dinner items
JG & I have been to Ciudad’s sister restaurant, Border Grill in Santa Monica, and I’m starting to think I cheated myself out of some good food deals as I saved myself for a sandwich at Copa d’Oro. That sandwich wasn’t anything to write home about, but the food at Ciudad (and Border Grill, I’m sure, in turn) definitely was. Lucky for me, I was able to save on some postage as my dear Mum from Illinois was in town visiting. Ciudad, more like Ciumom (har har).
I had just picked her up from Union Station (seriously ya’ll, consider the Metrolink!) and had plotted the next stop in Downtown Happy Hour domination, Ciudad! We arrived around 6:30 pm and the joint was hopping. I’d venture to guess there were at least 30 young professionals in the bar area where happy hour is served (also served on patio, but it was chilly), sipping $4.50 margaritas and snacking on $3 tacos. Mom & I may not have fit that that bill, but we were happy to start our long-time catch up, sitting on bar stools (though the backless stool eventually got the better of Ma) and the same food & drink deals.
We tried a couple of Shishito Fajitas Tacos (shishisto peppers, onions, mushrooms, guacamole, and oaxacan string cheese) and the Crispy Potato Rajas Tacos (roasted potatoes and peppers corn relish, guacamole, and chipotle crema); both were awesome. The margarita was killer, though Mom had a $4.50 glass of white wine before sampling my margarita and making the switch. We also tried the $5 guacamole, but I gotta be honest, readers, it really wasn’t very good and it reminded me of the mass-produced guacamole you might get in a plastic tub in Illinois. This surprised me given the restaurant’s foodie pedigree, but the rest of the nibbles surely made up for this.
Ciudad also suffers from the happy hour unhappiness that many downtown bars suffer from – no Saturday and Sunday happy hour! I hope this is remedied sometime soon as downtown picks up as a fun urban destination! UPDATE: Ciudad apparently has an all-night Sunday happy hour, hooray, rejoice, etc!! (thanks marcpear!)
Nevertheless, if you are free on a weeknight and are looking for a cool bar in an urban setting with young professionals, good drinks, and tasty bites, stop by Ciudad! And bring your mom (so you don’t have to make the effort to write home)!
Rating: 4 Margaritas