it doesn't get much air time here, so i thought i'd bring it up - LULA COCINA MEXICANA on main street in santa monica.
i love this place - what a MUCH better option over el cholo for fun and food. (not that el cholo is bad, but i think it is muy muy overrated) granted, lula's not super authentic, but the food tastes good and the margaritas are nice and ... powerful - lol! one of these days, i'll try their infused tequilas.
the chile rellenos are decent, but i seriously have this thing for their STUFFED SPICY JALAPENOS (basically, a fancy jalapeno popper, lol!) and though it's not on the menu, if you ask the bartender (we always sit in the bar, even to eat - it's just easier and more fun), he'll ask the kitchen to make a dreamy mess of NACHOS for you. :)
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