LA’s Cinco de Mayo…my Kind of Romance!

By Guest Writer: Jimmy Cruz

I have always loved Cinco de Mayo. Growing up in LA, I have found there is no better place to celebrate this iconic holiday. Whatever day it lands on each year, my wife and I make sure to raise some hell. I even plan ahead by taking the next day off so the party never ends. People don’t normally think of it as a romantic holiday, but with all that tequila, how can it not be romantic? My wife was not always into it, but I remind her that Cinco de Mayo is MY holiday…and of course Valentine’s day is for her. I go all out on V-Day. Now she is down with it. I’ll let you know what I do for her each Valentine’s day in a different article.

Carnitas, Salsa, Guacamole, Rice & Beans with 2 fresh Tortillas; photo courtesy of Luz del Dia Restaurant

Cinco de Mayo is a great time to go out with other couples. Very often we share car ride services, or my friend’s wife drives. She barely drinks if any at all, but my oh my does she love to talk. She and my wife can talk the night away. One memorable Cinco de Mayo, my sister and her husband was visiting. Since she was new to LA, and the whole Cinco de May experience, we started out on Olivera Street, in downtown LA. If you are visiting LA, Olivera Street is a MUST-SEE. La Luz del Dia is a one of my favorite spots. Great food, no fuss. Order at the counter and grab a seat. You can buy just one taco, or as I prefer a combo plate (see above photo).

LUCHA VaVOOM; Photo by Jimmy Cruz

We have attended LUCHA VaVOOM a couple times…This annual event is bizarre, but hilarious. Created in 2002, LUCHA VaVOOM is the brainchild of Rita D’Albert and Liz Fairbairn, and features burlesque comedy and music performances in between wrestling rounds. The year we attended, we saw quite a line-up – Guerrero Maya, Jr. (CMLL Luchador from Mexico City), Mexican masked meanie Magno, Extreme Tiger (one-time TNA X Division Champion), Piñatita, Doctor Maldad and the Crazy Chickens, Titán, Marawa the Amazing, Leigh Acosta, Molly D’amour and Miss Marquez, Folkloricos Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet, Mariachis, Aztec Dancers, etc., perform at this event. This is an annual event, so be sure to attend if you are looking for a fun thing to do.

Beef Fajitas, courtesy of Cocina Mexicana

After the show, we headed back to our neighborhood to meet up with friends at Lula’s on Main Street in Santa Monica. We ran into several locals and shared some fajitas…always a great dish to share. The owner of Cocina Mexicana Geraldine Gilliland is super cool. She often stops in and chats with the customers. Years ago, she was trained by the well known Mexican chef Lula Bertran in Mexico City. This is what inspired her to open her restaurant in Santa Monica. Now over twenty five years later…it still provides top notch cuisine. I’ve been eating here for years.

Photo courtesy of La Cabaña Mexican Restaurant,

Not wanting to end the night, we made one more stop at La Cabaña Mexican Restaurant, located on Rose Avenue just west of Lincoln. A late night Westside hangout open until 3am, we ended up meeting up with more friends, and closed the joint. They had an awesome mariachi band, and the best margaritas.

So next year, make some plans when Cinco de Mayo comes around, you’ll be glad you did it.

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