7/31/2013

Kay 'n Dave's Cantina

Happy Hour: 5-7pm Daily
9341 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA
Menu










The Place:
Kay 'n Dave's Cantina is a chain of 3 neighborhood Mexican restaurants in West LA, with this review being for the one in Culver City. They reside somewhere between your standard cheap Mexican restaurant and fancy LA one. They proudly announce on their website "Nothing Made With Lard"--I was worried. 

Their happy hour has dirt-cheap priced food ($1-5) and drinks ($3-5) and is served daily at the bar and high-top tables nearby.

Ambiance:
Kay n Dave's in Culver City is fairly large and has seating outside facing Culver Blvd. The bar area is a little more dive-y and was fairly crowded on a Sunday afternoon. They have a pretty large bar and a good amount of high-top tables, so there was no trouble finding a seat. They had a few TVs going and the noise level was fairly high. The crowd there was pretty young. I tripped over three toddlers on the way in. This is one of the few places with a bar-like atmosphere within a restaurant, accentuated by their offerings of shots on the menu and low prices. 

The House Margarita
Drinks:
For happy hour, Kay n Dave's offers two margaritas (one regular, one mezcal), a few beers, wine and sangria, and tequila shots. No word on if you have to be shirtless to imbibe said shots. I got the house margarita, which was listed online for $3 but at the restaurant was $4. 

The margarita came in a pretty small glass, but was about 85% tequila. Despite this, it managed to be consumable. The taste was good, especially if you are looking for something to take the edge off after a long day. It was not in the pantheon of margaritas you must try in LA, but I would definitely have it again. The strength of this drink was easily a 5 out of 5; pretty good considering the price. In terms of bang for your buck, alcohol-wise, you will not do much better. 


Food:
The food offerings are mostly of the mexican variety, including tacos, burritos and quesadillas. I tried every price point: the carnitas taco ($1), the chicken mole quesadilla ($3), and the calamari ($5) (not on the online menu, but on the menu at the restaurant). They also gave out passable chips and salsa, which did less to make than the Margarita to make me believe I was in Mexico. 

The taco was pretty bad--it had very little flavor and the meat was not very high quality. I'm not sure what I was expecting for $1, but I would not get it again. The chicken mole quesadilla was edible, but it had quite  a bit of sauce and other various and sundry items in it that prevented it from being eaten with your hands. These extra things did not contribute greatly to the flavor and overall gave it a soupy sort of taste. It was a decent size for the price, but I would need a few house margaritas before getting it again. The calamari was pretty standard--the portion was average, the sauce was pretty good, but it was calamari at a mexican restaurant. If I had to get one food item on the menu, I would get this one again, but I wouldn't be excited about it. 

Clockwise, l to r: Chips & Salsa, Carintas Taco, Chicken Mole Quesadilla, and Calamari

Service:
Our hospitality experience at Kay n Dave's was passable. The bartenders were friendly and food was ordered and came within reasonable times, with the only hiccup being that water took quite a bit of time to refill. Another small annoyance: the waiter bringing the food didn't know who it was going to, so he would just come up and announce the food and wait for someone at the bar to react. 

Go For:
- Getting hammered
- Getting hammered for cheap
- Getting hammered on something you are actually able to drink


Potential or Actual Kitschy Name for their Happy Hour:  Happy 'n Hours 

The Details: 
Menu
Happy Hour: 5-7pm Daily
Price: $
Drinks: Cocktails, Shots, Beer, Wine, $3-5
Food: $1-5, Mexican
Parking: Best bet for parking is in the parking deck next to Trader Joe's across the street. It's free for the first 2 hours. 

Pros: Very strong but drinkable margaritas at a fantastic price. Good location/easy to park. Happy hr every day, and includes food.

Cons: Food is not otherworldly, but will seem a little better after a few margaritas. Not a super upscale environment, again better after a few margaritas.


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