DTC #59: La Llave de tu Corazón Open your heart to tortillas, margaritas and the 99 cent store





Warm up with a margarita in the back bar of a local cantina.

Head into the hardware aisle of a store you’d least expect to grab some llaves.

Use said llaves to lock in your love at a restaurant painted with love before devouring endless tortillas.

Casablanca was opened in 1980 by Ensenada, Mexico native and Humphrey Bogart fanatic Carlos Haro Sr.. At first this high end dining experience had waiters wearing white jackets and fez hats while serving Mexican seafood dishes. Sadly the outfits didn’t stick.
Stop 1

Start with a quick Margarita…or two

• 6 pm to 7 pm •

As you walk up to the windowless façade of La Cabaña you’re not sure what to expect once the door swings open....

  • Parking can be a little tough in the area. However there’s always spots in the Whole Foods lot across the street. Haven’t had problems but there’s always a small risk of a tow.
  • This restaurant opened way back in 1963 by Ensanda, Mexico native Carlos Haro, Sr.. If you didn’t catch this from above he is the same owner as Casablanca on the corner (stop 3). So don’t worry if you’re leaving to go somewhere new, it’s all going to the same place.
  • There’s two Happy Hours here: Monday – Friday 3pm to 7pm with $6 margaritas, $6 Patron shots, $5 beers, and $3.50 tacos. Also, 10pm to 3am “Late Night Special” menu with the kitchen open til 3am…if you happen to need that sort of thing later.
Stop 2

Pick up your lock where you least expect it

• 7 pm to 7:15 pm •

Jetting across Washington Blvd your partner in crime may feel a bit lost as to why you’re walking to the back of a gas station but eventually the prize lights up in view...

  • The 99 cent store is in the far left corner of the mall across the street from La Cabaña. Please be careful crossing the street.
  • If you are going on a primetime night (Friday/Saturday) a good idea is to duck into Casablanca (stop 3) on your way to the 99 cent store. There can be a long wait as there is not a reservation possible.
  • The locks are in the middle of aisle 2 on the left hand side. They are 99 cents each ;)
Stop 3

Lock Up your Love Before Locking In On Some Tortillas

• 7:30pm til you've felt the love •

You wait to cross Lincoln Blvd amidst the masses waiting for their street vendors al pastor tacos. After scurrying across another road you're pleasantly confronted with the bright blue building, lit up as a beacon for your night...

  • This restaurant does not take reservations. On prime time nights it can get very busy, please be ready to have an hour wait. Good news, if it’s busy you can put your name in before heading to the 99 Cent Store to complete the lock stop. Then it’s as easy as grabbing a drink at the bar.
  • It is possible to acquire a lock from the restaurant. If you eat dinner there and it’s a special occasion you can ask them if you can have one. But what’s the fun in that?
  • The dishes here are large and it’s highly suggested to share a dish and an app, or if you’re in a group 3 dishes. Regardless the tortillas are so damn addictive that you’ll fill up on those no problem.
  • There is a tip jar for the incredible tortilla maker and guitar player. Just sayin’.
  • If you have no idea what Casablanca is, first, shame on you. Second, it’s a 1942 love story set in the Moroccan city of Casablanca. Humphrey Bogart runs a nightclub in town and finds his old love, Ingrid Bergman, is in town with her husband. There’s Nazi’s, there’s excitement, there’s the famous line “Here’s lookin at you kid.”


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