The Dish: Local restaurants celebrate Cinco de Mayo with food, drink specials


Saturday is Cinco de Mayo. That means it’s time for tacos, margaritas and mariachis. Here are some San Diego restaurants offering dinner and drink specials to help you get in the spirit of fiesta.

Bar Meets Grill will offer guests $1 street tacos and Sammy Hagar’s Santo Mezquila from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday. Pala Casino Spa Resort, 11154 Highway 76, Pala.

Barleymash will combine Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby, since they both fall on Saturday. Arrive early wearing your Kentucky Derby best and grab a table to catch all the horse racing action while sipping on Mint Juleps and Mumm Champagne. Prizes will be awarded for best dressed and best hat. After the race, barleymash will serve specialty Espolòn Tequila Margaritas in honor of the day. 600 Fifth Avenue, San Diego.

Bubs @ The Beach thinks outside the box this Cinco de Mayo with its El Caliente Mule, made with Espolon Blanco Tequila and topped with a house-made pineapple-jalapeño syrup, then mixed with ginger beer, soda water and bitters. Saturday. 1030 Garnet Ave., San Diego. (858) 270-7269.

Casa de Bandini at The Forum will spice up your fiesta with the carnitas taco sampler. Wash them down with the restaurant’s new Cazadores Palomas (like a fizzy margarita). Sip on specialty cocktails with drink specials by the hour. Live mariachi music and dancers. Friday and Saturday. 1901 Calle Barcelona, Carlsbad. (760) 634-3443.

Casa de Pico will serve carnitas tacos and Corona beer buckets along with hourly margarita specials featuring Tres Generaciones, Cabo Wabo and Don Julio tequilas. Mariachis, troubadours and ballet folklorico dancers will entertain guests. Saturday and Sunday. 5500 Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa. (619) 463-3267.

Casa Guadalajara in Old Town will offer guests its “Two for Cinco” street taco bar in the Garden Room and drink specials in the Cantina, including cans of Tecate and Dos Equis for $5.50. Mariachis and ballet folklorico dancers will perform in the restaurant. 4105 Taylor St., San Diego. Saturday and Sunday. (619) 295-5111.

Casa Sol Y Mar will offer “Tour of Mexico” beer buckets or Hornitos tequila flights for $20. Pair it with your choice of a taco sampler, cantina tostada or Jalisco wings. Music and folkloric performances are part of the festivities. Friday and Saturday. Del Mar Highlands Town Center, 12865 El Camino Real, Del Mar. (858) 792-4100.

CREAM San Diego, near San Diego State University, will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with delicious, discounted ice cream creations. Through Saturday, all guests will receive $1.50 off the following three ice cream treats: the CREAM Taco is made with three giant scoops of ice cream and two toppings placed inside a freshly baked, taco-shaped waffle cone; the Cin-ful Churro Milkshake is a combination of churro chunks and cinnamon spices; and the Mexican Hot Chocolate Milkshake is shaken with added spices to punch up the flavor. 5157 College Ave., Suite B, San Diego. (619) 230-5177.

Curadero will offer its new agave-fused cocktail, Let’s Hear It For Chamoy, made with El Jimador Reposado, mango, lemon, serrano and chamoy (savory sauce). Complement it with ceviches, tacos or house guacamole. Upstairs, the Arriba Room opens at 3 p.m. Saturday and will serve street tacos from the taco window, tequila and Mexican beers. 1047 Fifth Ave., San Diego. (619) 515-3003.

Cusp Dining & Drinks atop Hotel La Jolla celebrates Cinco de Mayo with the release of its first barrel-aged cocktails, the Oscar de La Jolla. Aged for more than 60 days, the smooth sipper blends mezcal and tequila. The drink will be available at the bar Saturday. 7955 La Jolla Shores Drive, La Jolla. (858) 551-3620.

Del Sur Mexican Cantina will offer $6 house margaritas, $6 red or white sangrias, $7 mules and palomas, made with 100-percent Agave Tequila Blanco, fresh grapefruit, bubbly Squirt and a half salt rim, $4 select Mexican draft beers, taco plates, enchiladas and burritos. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, a brunch menu will be served along with $20 bottles of Champagne with your choice of juices: watermelon, pineapple, orange or grapefruit. 2310 30th St., San Diego. (619) 501-0643.

Fishmonger’s Market will curb your south-of-the-border cravings with a seafood escape featuring a special of 12 local Baja oysters served with an ice-cold Corona or Pacifico beer for only $20 at their crudo bar. Saturday. 1735 Hancock St., San Diego. (619) 756-7345.

Hundred Proof will offer a collaboration brunch featuring Azunia Tequila. Bar manager Juan Sanchez and his cocktail crew will be mixing up $8 specialty cocktails, tequila flights and food specials from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. 4130 Park Blvd., San Diego. (619) 501-6404.

Jalisco Cantina will offer tasting flights of tequila and mezcal and house specialty margaritas, including the Cilantro Smash, the Mango Serrano, and the Pineapple Jalapeno. Saturday. 213 N. Coast Hwy, Oceanside. (760) 429-1679.

Lazy Hippo in the Gaslamp Quarter will serve an extensive selection of taco plates, including fish tacos, the light jicama tacos, the vegetarian-friendly veggie tacos, and the vegan-friendly jicama soyrizo tacos, all offered at 20 percent off Saturday. 416 Third Ave., San Diego. (619) 550-1071.

Mavericks Beach Club in Pacific Beach will keep your drinks cool with their Mavericks Six Packs of Pacifico and Modelo beers. Carry your cooler around while you check out the dance floor or play games like the corn toss or Giant Jenga. Nosh on puffy tacos, quesadilla crisps piled high with guacamole, pico de gallo, lime crema and queso, or some Wahoo tostadas. Saturday. 860 Garnet Ave., San Diego. (858) 999-0348.

Osetra Seafood & Steaks will serve guests the Piñata, a mix of Azunia Blanco Organic Tequila, tangy blood orange, a squeeze of lime juice, organic habanero-infused agave and black salt. Saturday. 904 Fifth Ave., San Diego. (619) 239-1800.

Pacific Beach AleHouse will get you hoppy this Cinco de Mayo with specials like 14-ounce Pacifico beer ($5), fish tacos ($13.95) and gringo tacos ($11.95). Saturday. 721 Grand Ave., San Diego. (858) 581-2337.

Pacifica Del Mar will offer guests margarita specials, including its PDM Fresh Margarita, Pineapple-Chipotle Margarita and Miracle Margarita. A happy hour menu will be served with half off small plates from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday. 1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar. (858) 792-0476.

Pala RV Resort will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a Salsa & Guacamole Showdown with prizes awarded to RV guests for best salsa and guacamole food creations. Guests must stay a minimum of two nights. Friday and Saturday. 11154 Highway 76, Pala. Reservations: (844) 472-5278.

Pechanga Resort & Casino Cinco de Mayo celebration focuses on mariachis, Modelo beers and margaritas. Free mariachi performances take place at 4 p.m. at the casino entrance and later at locations across the resort. Guests can try a specialty margarita at Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar for $5 during happy hour from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday. 45000 Pechanga Parkway, Temecula.

Tajima has introduced a new dish: carnitas ramen, made with spicy tonkotsu broth and noodles, pork chashu, cilantro, ramen egg, white onion, radish, a dash of oregano and lime wedge. Available through May, pair the dish with a $5 Modelo beer. At its Mercury location (4411 Mercury St., Suite 110, San Diego), Tajima offers a Spicy Yuzu Margarita, a mix of Suerte Tequila and a yuzu and citrus-juice blend, infused with jalapeño spice and fresh cilantro served in a glass rimmed with Japanese pepper and Tajin powder. Five locations: North Park, Hillcrest, East Village and Kearny Mesa.

The Rail will serve the El Pachuco, a tequila cocktail made with Herradura Blanco Tequila, Giffard Pamplemousse Liqueur and a generous squeeze of fresh lime. Saturday. 3796 Fifth Ave., San Diego. (619) 298-2233.

The Smoking Gun will serve taco and drink specials starting at 11 a.m. Saturday. Party-goers can don their free sombreros and fiesta the day away. 555 Market St., San Diego. (619) 233-3836.

The Taco Stand will offer patrons its al pastor, filled with rotisserie-marinated pork, cilantro, onions, cilantro sauce and pineapple strips. Don’t forget something sweet like hot churros available at some locations, or locally made paletas (ice pops made with fruit) from La Palmita Paleteria at 645 B St., San Diego. Saturday. Four locations: San Diego, La Jolla, Encinitas and North Park.

The Whiskey House will quench your thirst for tequila with its Yellow Jacket, made with El Charo Reposado Tequila, St. Germain, yellow chartreuse and house orange bitters. Saturday. 420 Third Ave, San Diego. (619) 546-6289.

Union Kitchen & Tap Gaslamp will serve $5 Pacifico beers in addition to its brunch specialty, mole chicken enchilada plate from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Dinner specials will be offered from 2 p.m. to close and include a carnitas taco plate and TJ dogs served with fries. 333 Fifth Ave., San Diego. (619) 795-9463.

Union Kitchen & Tap Encinitas will offer a slew of specials, including Mezcal el Chappo specialty margaritas and $5 Pacifico/Tequila flights. Satisfy your cravings with a specialty brunch until 2 p.m. featuring Mexican chorizo huevos rancheros along with all-day food specials such as crawfish popcorn tacos with habanero crema, guajillo-rubbed carne asada with fire-roasted tomato and serrano salsa and achiote-marinated chicken tacos with salsa verde. There’s also shared plates such as carne asada fries and opah belly and ono ceviche. Music will be playing from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday. 1108 S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas. (760) 230-2337.

Waterbar’s “Cinco” fare includes $7 Don Julio margaritas, homemade churros, featured taco specials, including one for $2, three for $5 and six for $9, a blended margarita bar and their street taco special made with your choice of grilled rockfish, chopotle-braised beef, shredded chicken, veggie or shrimp, salsa roja, ancho crema, shredded cabbage and salsa vinaigrette. Saturday. 4325 Ocean Blvd., San Diego. (858) 888-4343.

Wokou Ramen & Yakitori brings a culture shock of two diverse dining favorites this Cinco de Mayo. The spicy carnitas ramen ($10), combines a tasty Asian-inspired dish with slow-braised carnitas, shredded chili, green onion, soft egg and a wedge of lime. Saturday. 5965 Village Way, San Diego. (858) 779-2620.