12161 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 985-1744
Mexicali on Yelp

Parking: Free lot behind the restaurant (entrance just west of the restaurant). Gotta love the Valley’s ample parking!!
Days: Daily
Times: 4-7pm and 11pm-1am
Drink Deals: $3.75 bottled beers, house wines, well drinks, and sangria; $4.75 Margaritas ($16.75 for a pitcher); $4.95 Fruit Margaritas
Food Deals: Great $2.95 Food Specials

Back yonder, JG & I both did some time at the Oakwoods Apartment complex. Not because we were young Disney stars on the rise (Who am I kidding? Yes, we were!), but we were young college interns in need of a terrific, already furnished apartment complex with three pools, ample parking, tennis courts, fitness classes, and more. What a nice gateway into LA-living, right?!

During my stint at the Oakwoods, my fellow interns and I developed a fondness for Mexicali on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City as it wasn’t that far from home, the food and drink were a-ok, and the atmosphere was cool and friendly. For reasons unbeknownst to myself, I seem to have stopped going to Mexicali not long after the summer of my internship.

Top to bottom: At the bar and inside dining seating

So, I was delighted to reconnect with the spot based on some important Happy Hour detective work… I discovered that Happy Hour at Mexicali runs 2x daily (from 4-7pm and from 11pm-1am) and offers alright drink deals and downright AMAZING food prices. My first trip back was a slight bust, not on the restaurant’s account, but based on the fact I’d only had 3 hours of shut-eye the night before and so almost fell asleep in my queso fundido as my friend, Booze, drank for the two of us across the table :).

Top to bottom: Chicken empanadas, queso fundido, and Grilled Veggie Burrito (all $2.95)

Despite my condition, I fell for Mexicali all over again with their awesome $2.95 Happy Hour food options (in addition to the complimentary chips and salsa!) – items like Mini-Nacho’s, Chiquita Quesadilla’s, Empanadas, Taquitos and several kinds of Taco’s and Mini-Burrito’s. Booze had the Chicken Empanadas, I had a delicious Grilled Veggie Burrito (served slightly chilled w/ ranch – sounds a little weird, but it was so good!), and we shared the aforementioned Queso Fundido, a delicious cheesy, mushroomy, GARLIC-y treat enjoyed with corn tortillas.

The drink prices are alright for a twice-a-day happy hour served throughout the entire restaurant; Booze enjoyed a $4.75 Margarita and a $3.75 house sangria, which I very willingly sampled. Both tasted pretty good, I just wish I’d had the constitution to try one of JG’s favorites, the $4.95 Watermelon Margarita!

$4.75 Margarita and a $3.75 house sangria

The crowd seemed chill and relaxed when we arrived at 4:30pm and definitely picked up by the time we left an hour later. One funny note – we did encounter a rather drunk-face woman as we arrived and entered from the rear. After screaming at her boyfriend/father (really, couldn’t tell), she turned on Booze and I, “What, are you afraid of me too?” I quickly finished my outside photography and hurried inside, but not before we heard her rain fisticuffs on the dude. What a peach?!! Maybe she had too many peach margaritas :)!!

Whatever the case, I was ultimately happy to visit Mexicali again and would certainly recommend it to anyone looking for a Happy Hour Dinner/Late-Night Snack in Studio City!!


Rating: 5 Martinis (you go, Mexicali!)

Mexicali Cocina & Cantina on Urbanspoon

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