BEST MARGARITAS

by BENJAMIN EPSTEIN

Tequila, orange liqueur and lime with salt on the rim are all you need, but these restaurants elevate the cocktail experience.


PUESTO

Los Olivos Marketplace

Known for its creative Mexico City-inspired crispy cheese tacos, handsome Puesto offers all manner of creative margaritas, too, from the hibiscus-imbued Pink Cadillac to the you-choose-the-spice-level Hot Sauce. The tequila flight includes Puesto’s own Código Rosa. And here’s an idea to toast: Choose one of the two dozen sipping tequilas, add $3 to make it a margarita or $5 to make it a Cadillac.


TACO ROSA

The Market Place

Spectacularly presented margaritas – on the rocks or blended, your choice – pair with Mexico City cuisine at Taco Rosa. The Coconut – with 1800 Coconut Tequila, cream of coconut and pineapple – is a party in a glass, and the glass is color-spangled stemware. A blended Mango Chamoy arrives in a heavyweight goblet yet goes down as easy as a Slurpee. You add the Grand Marnier float to your Arette Tequila Cadillac.


JAVIER’S

Irvine Spectrum Center

The venue and its newly expanded patio are gorgeous; the cuisine is regional Mexican; margaritas are served on the rocks. Top of the list: the golden-hued Javier’s, with Patrón Reposado Tequila and Grand Marnier; the Marcos Mexican, with Casa Dragones Silver Tequila and Cointreau, is its brighter counterpart. Fruit versions might feature pomegranate or guayabo. The tequila selection is extensive.