1538 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90026

Phone: (213) 250-4256

Parking: Metered street parking along Sunset Blvd.

M-F, 4-7:30pm (I think!), $1 off Margaritas, $8 pitcher of Bud Light (I think!), complimentary food buffet. Also, nightly specials including Wednesday’s $2.50 Margarita Night.

What is not to love about a three-station bar/restaurant where everybo
dy knows your name? Well, they didn’t know my name or that of my friend Nicole’s because sadly, we’re not regulars, but you get what I’m saying, Barragan’s is kinda like your regular old “Cheers” bar with a Mexican twist. This Barragan’s location had come up in several Happy Hour searches and had also come recommended from a new Happy Hour friend from The York. So, when Nicole & I were looking for a Happy Hour in Echo Park to check out before a show at the nearby Echoplex, we were stoked to check out this kitschy spot.

As for the three stations – let me explain. When you first walk into Barragan’s, you enter into what looks like a family dining area and it’s pretty big. You go further back and hit the bar area, which is sort of reminiscent of a small hotel sports bar in the Midwest – complete with a complimentary appetizer buffet and a Friday night soundtrack that alternates between (mostly Spanish) karaoke and tunes like Santana’s “Black Magic Woman” and K.D. Lang’s “Constant Craving.” Finally, there’s an upstairs area that may or may not be used for concerts and dancing – it’s open for business at 8pm and apparently there are $3.50 margaritas to be found there.

Station #1 (like a family style-restaurant), detail from Station #2 (bar area)

We were a bit confused by the set-up at first; it was 7:40pm when we a
rrived, so we had missed Happy Hour and were too early for the cheap drinks upstairs. After looking like lost children for several minutes, a kindly bartender took pity on us and told us we could still have the Happy Hour price drinks ($1 off margaritas). Her pity must have extended to her pour because our margaritas – on the rocks with salt, but of course – were ridiculously good.

We also enjoyed the fun Midwest Hotel Happy Hour style buffet, which featured tortilla chips, salsa, nacho cheese, taquitos, tiny little chicken wings, and celery & carrots with ranch dressing. The stadium-style nacho cheese was my favorite – though I was very happy with the healthy carrot & celery selection! They cleared the spread away pretty soon after Happy Hour was over, so we then shared an order of Nachos “Barragan” for $8.95. Now, I didn’t anticipate eating that much of them so I didn’t mind that they came with chorizo as I thought I could just scrape it off. However, I now believe the chorizo was blended into the beans – so my vegetarian scraping method became an exercise in restraint and avoidance :).

After the strong first drink, I had to go with a soda pop for my second since I was driving and to my delight, my Diet Coke with grenadine came back with 8 cherries in the glass. You gotta love that attention to detail!

Also detailed are the Happy Hour and nightly specials, of which I’ve received conflicting reports. One call to Barragan’s told me that Happy Hour runs from 3:30-7pm, another told me that it’s from 4-7:30pm – I believe it to be the latter. The Happy Hour features $1 off margaritas ($5.50 instead of $6.50), the complimentary appetizer spread, and possibly an $8 pitcher of the Bud Light. Not so confusing are their nightly specials, of which the most popular is Wednesday night – known for its $2.50 margaritas ($3.50 for flavored margaritas).

All-in-all, Barragan’s is not a fancy place to take anyone, but it’s fun & home-y. And hey, I bet if you come often enough, they’ll learn your name (and your favorite drink!).

-- JB

Rating: 3.5 Martinis (I had a fun time, but am still a little confused!)

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