By Michael Hepworth
Redondo Beach, CA(Spiritsman)7/4/12/–If you ever wanted to learn more about tequila and you are in the greater Los Angeles Area then a visit to ORTEGA 120 in Redondo Beach on the border with Palos Verdes should be on your calendar. The spacious restaurant opened up in May 2008 deep in the heart of the recession, and after a horrendous initial few months it was saved by a Merrill Shindler review and word of mouth from South Bay residents hungry for decent Mexican food.
Now business is strong, and with up to 250 tequilas to choose from, they have launched Tequila University, a monthly tasting experience with some Mexican food thrown in of course. I went to a version of one last week where the tequila of choice was from our old friends at Pura Vida, and although spokesperson and part owner Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top was not around, it was still a very informative evening. If you ask nicely they might bring out some of the special back room stuff that can set you back $200 a shot, although in reality the house margaritas listed below will only cost average about $9.50 each.
Here is just a sampling of the best selling margaritas available at Ortega 120, a large and rustic Mexican style restaurant that by all accounts gets packed on weekends. The 120 House Margarita was voted the best classic margarita by the LA Weekly as well as the best Margarita and Tequila Bar in the Beach area by Easy Reader. For this they use Oro tequila and Patron Citronge and triple sec.
The Pomegranate Ginger Margarita uses El Zarco w/house mix, pomegranate and Elixir G ginger accents. The Marigold Margarita sticks with Milagro Reposado along with St.Germain and lime, and the Abuelo uses Casa Noble Anejo muddled w/fresh orange cherry angostura bitters, agave nectar and a sugar rim.
The Tequila Gone a “Rye” uses Peligroso Anejo w/Carpano Antica, Trybox Rye, muddled lemon, and pomegranate. Even if tequila is not your choice, the Caipirinha De Fruta is a big mover and uses Leblon Cachaca, peach liqueur, 120 House mix, Mixed berries and lime.
I will not go into the food options here but of course it is pretty extensive with authentic Mexican dishes that will be featured in a separate review.
Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top &Tequila Connoisseur Launches Pura Vida Tequila
Ortega 120-1814 S.Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Open daily for lunch and dinner w/$10 lunch specials
Entertainment Thursday and Saturday nights
All night Happy Hour on Mondays only in the bar-Tacos $2 and $5 House Margaritas.
Brunch Saturday and Sunday 11:30 am-3 pm (Saturday) and 10:30-3 pm (Sunday)
Reservations advised on weekends.
287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211