Stop 1: Margaritas for Two @ La Cabaña
As you walk up to the windowless façade of La Cabaña you’re not sure what to expect once the door swings open. A few feet in you’re happily transported to a classic Mexican cantina rarely seen on this side of the city. Confidently heading to the back bar you pass regulars clanking post work beers, older couples canoodling in the corner and the classic open fire tortilla cooking stove complete with a sweet older woman diligently rolling out the goods. Within moments you’re posted up in your spot at the back bar being happily greeted by the bartender. You’re then forced with your first tough decision of the night, do you go for an Original, La Cabaña Gold or Borracho margarita. Where your night may go only the bartender will know. Splitting a basket of chips and toasting to your night the margaritas go down easier than first anticipated. Eventually round two is quickly slid your way along the tiled bar top in all it’s old fashioned glory. The classic vibes and neon lights illuminate your salted rims as you descend into the La Cabaña Golden hour. When you’ve finished that last sip it will mark your time to square up then pick up some hardware where you’d least expect it.
Stop 2: Pick Up You Padlock of Love @ The 99 Cent Only Store
Jetting across Washington Blvd your partner in crime may feel a bit lost as to why you’re walking to the back of a gas station but eventually the prize lights up in view. The unusual entrance to the 99 cent store ensures an awkward moment but with the right attitude and moxie this is a crowning strange moment in the night, or maybe you’re relationship so far. Leading your unwitting counterpart to aisle 2 you, the hardware section, where you pick up the only item that truly matters tonight: a padlock and key. You allow the mystery to linger in the air as you duck into the Valentine’s candy aisle to pick up a chocolate rose for good measure. $2.09 later you’re back into the parking lot headed to your next destination…to lock up your love.
Stop 3: Lock Up Your Love then Lock In On Some Tortillas @ Casablanca
You wait to cross Lincoln Blvd amidst the masses waiting for their al pastor taco and piña slices. When you scurry across yet again you’re confronted with the blue light up building known as Casablanca. Before you slide past the blue balls into the front door the lock wall takes center stage. An homage to the famous Pont de Arts bridge in Paris where 700,000 locks had been fasted before lovers tossed the key into the River Siene. The tradition is carried on here…along Lincoln Ave in Venice. With the Sharpie you snagged from your office supply room write in your named or initials before pointing out your favorite place to lock up the love forever. When you’ve finished the plan isn’t to throw the key in the street but toss it over the fence and try to land in the empty fish tank. The beautiful tradition locked forever inside your hearts and minds before heading into the fantastical bar. Once inside put your name on the list then secure a mescal margarita or beer before eyeing up the impossible amounts of Casablanca film memorabilia. Period paintings, classic photos, and even a statue of Bogart himself surround every possible inch of the place. When you make it to your seat you notice another tortilla grill with a sweet woman working hard to make your flourey dreams come true. Just then a woman with a beautiful voice and equally gorgeous guitar strikes up a melody in Spanish. The scene is perfectly set in the blue light as you sip cocktails and delicately tear away pieces of tortilla before dipping them in salsa de abañil. The menu is filled with incredible dishes but nothing compares to the calamari that has become the dish of the house. As you dip tortillas in siete mares soup or pile them with fajitas you’re taken to an experience so far from Morocco it’s almost comical what’s literally written on the walls. As the guitar rings out and the margarita cart pushes towards your vicinity you have to make the ultimate decision whether to stay for more or lock in your luck for the night.