119 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91105
Parking: Colorado Blvd-adjacent lots and meters (we found $10 all-day parking)
Drink Deals: $2.75 draft domestic beer, $3.50 draft imports, $5 margaritas and sangria, $4 & $5 tequila shots, $3.50 well drinks, and $5.50 call drinks
Food Deals: tons of food options from $2-6
First things first, I wish I’d gone to Ixtapa Cantina a little hungrier! They’ve got a ton of Happy Hour food options I would loved to have tried, but dear readers, I was stuffed. Well, not stuffed enough to fill up on Ixtapa’s complimentary chips and salsa :), but you know how it goes – “if you give them free food, they will eat it.” And by they, I mean me!
Nicandrew & I had been to NeoMeze and Cheesecake Factory and so decided to throw in a little walk, well, it wasn’t that far of a walk; we just bopped a couple blocks over to Ixtapa. I’d come across Ixtapa & their sister bars, Via Sorrisso and Bar Celona, during my Colorado Blvd. Happy Hour research and was excited by their full page listing of Happy Hour food items. So again, disappointed to only have room in the stomach for their tasty tortilla chips and chipotle salsa.
Complimentary Chips & Salsa
Luckily, I still had room for a stiff drink, which was good since their HH drink prices are pretty far out – $2.75 draft domestic (including Blue Moon!), $3.50 draft imports, $5 margaritas and sangria, $4 & $5 tequila shots, $3.50 well drinks, and $5.50 call drinks. Given that a spot like The Woods now charges $5 for well vodkas, I was stoked to only pay .50 more at Ixtapa for the tastier Stoli Raspberry vodka w/ soda water.
Ixtapa is kind of a contradictory place. It’s a wide open sports bar (from my seat, I counted 7 TV’s in my eyeline), but I feel like the wide openness made it look emptier than it was. The décor is neat and seems kinda futuristic in its layout and lighting (cool oranges, blues, and purples), but it’s also a bit retro with the 70’s lampshades and huge pop-art prints of a woman’s face. The fare is pretty much Mexican cuisine, but there’s nothing in the décor or ambiance to suggest that it’s a Mexican restaurant.
To draw a direct line of comparison, Ixtapa sits next door to Barney’s Beanery, which seems like a sports bar that’s branded themselves with a great big barfood menu as eclectic as the collaged table-tops and weird decorations. It might help Ixtapa to take a page or two and sort of narrow down what they’re trying to present.
Whatever they end up going with, they should most definitely keep up the great Happy Hour options!!!
Nic & Jess
Rating: 3.5 Martinis