Margaritas and Ukuleles at Lares

— by Caroline on Crack

Ukulele Jam Session at Lares

It was after a couple of drinks at the Air Conditioned Lounge, my new favorite place, when we sauntered over to Lares for some late-night margaritas since we didn’t want to get in the car to drive to the Arsenal and it was too far to walk down to 310 on this intermittently rainy night.

Once inside the restaurant area we happened on this large table surrounded by a group of quirky-looking older people just sitting around and chatting. The restaurant was empty save for them. So we immediately made our way to the upstairs bar but saw that it was close.

A waiter had run up after us to find out what we wanted. “Are you guys closing down?” we asked, but he assured us that it was all right and that we were more than welcomed to stay to eat or partake of their full bar. We were immediately sat next to the group of theater-looking people with their bowler hats and feather-trimmed coats.


In an atmospheric room furnished with Mission-style furniture and a great carved bar, this family-run place offers better-than-average Mexican food and polite, attentive service.

Once our basket of warm tortilla chips, salsa and a pitcher of margarita ($21, pretty good for about six glasses) were brought over, the old people broke out with the ukuleles and mandolins and just started singing. It was awesome! We just sat back amused by the surrealness of the scene–a quaint Mexican restaurant late on a Saturday night and quirky old people singing “Me and My Shadow.” It was just one of those impromptu moments that just makes me love L.A.

As for the restaurant, I had eaten here years ago and remembered it was pretty good for authentic Mexican food but couldn’t say now since this time I only had the chips and salsa. But I’ll definitely return to check it out.

2909 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, California 90405
(310) 829-4550
Cross Street: 29th St.
Hours: 8am-12am