Happy Hour: $
Las Perlas- Tequila and Mezcal Bar
107 E 6th St
Everyday 5:00 - 8:00 PM
You might never think that walking around Sixth and Main in Los Angeles you’d walk into to be the first of anything. However, nestled right across the street from historic Cole’s, is the country’s first mezcal and tequila bar.
Las Perlas dubs itself the first bar ever to dedicate itself to the agave spirits, meaning that’s pretty much all they got, and though that may not seem all that strange given the rise in popularity of mezcal and tequila culture, back when they opened Las Perlas was a brave move by 213 Hospitality Group.
Las Perlas sounds like a party before you even walk inside. The place is decorated and laid out as a dive bar, but there’s so much color and decorations that it literally transports you to Mexico. Quotes about agaves, Frida Kahlo, adorn the walls, along with things for dia de los muertos plus colored lights and very loud Mexican/Latin music.
The bar is stocked with bottles- and yes that’s all tequila and mezcal. There are three booths you can sink into and enjoy the night, keep going and you’ll find an open area to the right with more seating, and if it seems empty it means you’re not a dancer. Exit to your right and you’ll find yourself in the patio, if the smell drew you in- it’s for a reason.
There’s seating sure, but also two ladies behind a small kitchen setup cooking up tacos and taquitos. If you’re not into tacos and agave spirits turn around because that’s all Las Perlas has to offer. The patio is smoke friendly and probably the best place if you’re trying to enjoy a conversation. However, we must warn you, the taco ladies only take credit/debit and if you have left your tab open inside at the bar, you’re going to have to turn around.
Regulars have been coming here for years, it gets packed on the weekdays, and on the weekends it’s best to get there early. The staff has become like family for most patrons and you can tell when you see how everyone greets each other with a hug or a handshake. They have live music from time to time and like we mentioned- it gets packed. Body to body it might seem hard to get around but find yourself a corner and it’s the perfect place to people watch.
You’ll have to excuse our lack of photos, the day we went there was a baseball game and the place was packed. We will revisit and update this review.
The Happy Hour offered at Las Perlas is even more simple than their menu, if you can believe that, they offer the basics. 3 cocktails at $5 each and a $4 Tecate can, there is no happy hour specials for the food. This isn’t a place for happy hour where your craft cocktails are going to take forever to make or even include much over 2 ingredients. A Tommy Margarita is the only drink you can get in different styles. Apparently, this is made in honor of Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco, which seems to be a historically important place. If you want it spicy, sweet, or as a cadillac it will run you $7. Served over crushed ice is also not an option you can opt out of. Your best bet for getting drunk here and getting your money’s worth is starting off with a cocktail or two and taking shots in between. For this review we brought our friend Marylou. That being said, this is what we ordered.
The HHC Team Sipped On:
Tommy’s Strawberry Margarita:
M: It’s a strawberry margarita that doesn’t taste like it has strawberry syrup, which I can appreciate. I had to squeeze lime in it though, to give it a twist. The tequila is there but it is light and the strawberry overshadows it. Next time, I’d get it as a cadillac but with mezcal.
ML: This is definitely for girls or those who don’t like the sourness of a regular margarita. I like it enough but I’d probably get the cadillac next time because yeah I can barely taste the tequila.
M: I’m glad I didn’t opt for the strawberry version of this because it’s perfect just the way it is. I could do with less ice, but it is perfect.
ML: I would have made it spicy or a cadillac, or both.
Las Perlas Paloma:
M: The Paloma done right can be made with either tequila or mezcal. Due to my preference I ordered it with mezcal. It just blends better for me with the grapefruit soda. I dig it, I think it needs more mezcal but I dig it. Refreshing and light, it’s easy to drink these down fast.
ML: I prefer my palomas with tequila so this was a first for me, what a revolution. I’ve been drinking palomas all wrong! I love it, I wish there was less ice but I love it..
M: This is my favorite of the night, not sure why, it is a simple cocktail after all but this has the kick and strength I was searching for in the other cocktails. I got mine with mezcal so that might have something to do with it. Gotta salute the fact they use homemade ginger beer, it doesn’t taste like mezcal with ginger ale- which is exactly what I want.
ML: I got mine with tequila and it’s good, I mean, I prefer the paloma but this is good. It’s just a dryer different kind of sweet.
The Overall Experience:
While most places around here haven’t been part of a revolution or even lasted as long as Las Perlas has- this beloved watering hole is a favorite of ours because we love tequila and mezcal culture. The music, the love from the staff, the taco ladies outside- this is where the homies gather. Everyone takes shots and leaves with a smile, the fact they offer a happy hour is a nice gesture but the drink prices and the cocktails leave us only with food to be desired. It’s a great introduction to the bar but by no means does it encompass what Las Perlas is capable of. No fuss, no bullshit, and that’s all. We love taking tourists here to transport them to a different place filled with culture and pride. Swing by on a weekday for a calmer crowd and enjoy yourself on the patio during the day.
Overall Score: 4.3/5
Happy Hour Score: 3.8/5
We’d like to thank Miguel and Bart for their hospitality and kindly reserving a booth for us. We salute Las Perlas and the 213 Hospitality Group for starting a revolution we needed.
Thanks for reading, and as always…