It’s the Mecca of Mexican food. The savant of the salsa. The barista of the burrito. It’s El Tarasco, one of the preeminent Mexican establishments in Los Angeles.

Yeah, I know, it’s not really a bar. It’s a place to get your drink on, and, in that sense, El Tarasco knocks the ball out of the park.

Ever heard that expression “kill two birds with one stone?” El Tarasco kills a flock of sea gulls with a paper airplane. It’s that good.

Let’s start with the basics. It is almost sacrilegious to stop by this establishment without ordering their trademark “mug.”

This mother of a drink looks like it was stolen from the annals of Oktoberfest and is a 32-ounce glass mug filled to the brim with Dos Equis (amber or lager), Tecate or, for you gringos, Bud Light. Coupled with a basket of chips and salsa, this beer will knock you on your ass even without looking at the menu.

At a mere $4, this is one of the best bargains in Los Angeles that can’t be ordered from a drive-thru. They also serve a wide variety of cocktails, including a mean margarita for you sissy folk.

Take a good hard look at that menu. Then take a good hard look at what you’re drinking. Order accordingly.

Those with the appetite of a Greek god are urged to order what the locals call a J-S-D, or Junior Super Deluxe. This MASSIVE burrito is packed with rice, beans, lettuce and your choice of meat (I recommend their carnitas) topped with sour cream, guacamole and their signature enchilada sauce. This thing will induce a food coma unlike none other so please, dear god, do NOT operate heavy machinery after eating.

Those who want to induce a far milder and more enjoyable coma are urged to order a mug and a taco. While it doesn’t sound like much, El Tarasco’s tacos are huge and include two tortillas, so in keeping with the value element of this establishment, it’s basically a 2-for-1 deal.

El Tarasco simply kills it on many levels. Amazing service, ridiculously cheap prices and some of the best Mexican food you will ever eat, period. It’s worth a trek out from any corner of Los Angeles.