Following Halloween, festivities continue for Dia De Los Muertos also known as The Day Of The Dead. But unlike it’s spooky neighbor, the Nov. 1 holiday of the deceased isn’t about haunted spirits. Observers of the Mexican tradition celebrate loved ones who have passed with dance rituals, musical performances, skeleton, costumes, tasty Mexican food and, of course, our favorite, spirits of the alcoholic kind.
From bar parties to festivals, check out six places to observe the Day of the Dead in Los Angeles.
OUE Skyspace LA’s Day of the Dead Cocktail Celebration
Celebration in the sky! OUE Skyspace L.A.’s , an observation deck providing 360-degree views of the city is hosting a unique Day of the Dead Cocktail Celebration event. Honoring the souls of the dearly departed with Día de Los Muertos inspired entertainment, drinks, snacks, and a photo booth worthy of eternal memories. A $25 general admission ticket ($19 for early birds) includes a complimentary Day of the Dead-inspired drink, admission to the OUE Skyspace LA including a ride on the famous glass Skyslide and access to a custom menu on-site.
When: Thursday, Nov. 1 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
633 W. 5th St #840, Los Angeles; oue-skyspace.com; @skyspacela
Sierra Norte Whiskey and Scorpion Mezcal Tasting & Food Pairing
Women Who Whiskey L.A. will be celebrating Day of the Dead early with a Sierra Norte Whiskey and Scorpion Mezcal Tasting & Food Pairing at Madre! Oaxacan Restaurant and Mezcaleria. V.P. Barbara Sweetman will be guiding guests through five of Caballeros Inc.’s highly rated spirits. Scorpion Mezcal Anejo 5 year and Scorpion Mezcal Tobala Silver are limited, hard-to-find, estate-grown mezcals that feature a scorpion in the bottle instead of a worm.
Guests will actually sample over $300+ worth of mezcals alone! They will also be sipping three Sierra Norte Mexican corn whiskeys: Sierra Norte Yellow Corn, Sierra Norte Black Corn and Sierra Norte White Corn. Highly rated by Whisky Advocate, Sierra Norte Single Barrel whiskeys are made from 15% barley and 85% ancestral non-GMO heirloom corn farmed by indigenous Zapoteca people in Oaxaca in the Sierra Norte mountains: one of the best-preserved biospheres in Mexico. All three whiskeys are 90 proof, double distilled in copper pot stills and aged approximately 10 months in French Oak.
The spirits tasting, in Madre!’s gorgeous private dining room, will be paired with delicious, authentic Oaxacan dishes prepared from recipes that have been passed down through generations of owner Ivan Vasquez’s family. Tickets are $75 on eventbrite.com.
When: Sunday, Oct. 28, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Madre, 1261 Cabrillo Ave., Torrance; Madrerestaurants.com; @madre_national
Modern Mexican hot spot, Toca Madera is going all out for the ultimate holiday bash on November 1. Make it a taco Thursday with fillings like Carne Asada, skirt steak topped with sweet pepper, smoke guajillo sauce, and cotija cheese or Adashah Lettuce Wraps filled with a vegan lentil-based protein, butter lettuce, avocado mojo, corn relish, radish, and vegan mozzarella. Cheers with a *spooky* cocktail, the Los Muertos with Avion Reposado, blood orange, lime juice, hibiscus, and activated charcoal agave and of course plenty of margaritas to go around. The celebration doesn’t stop there – Toca Madera will be hosting a fire breather, flamenco guitarist, and stilt walkers all face-painted with the traditional sugar skull makeup.
When: Thursday, November 1, 5 p.m.
8450 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles; tocamadera.com; @tocamaderala
Skybar’s Dia De Los Muertos
As part of Skybar’s series of Halloween events, the Mondian’s Dia De Los Muertos party will rock the hotel on Saturday, sponsored by Espolòn Tequila. Tickets for the bash start at $20 and costumes are required.
When: Saturday, Oct. 27 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.
8440 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
7th Annual San Pedro Dia de los Muertos Festival
Celebrate Day of the Dead at the 7th Annual San Pedro Dia de los Muertos Festival. Attendees will enjoy San Pedro’s historic downtown and musical performances by two-time Grammy- award winning Mariachi Divas, celebrated local headliners Kotolan, and Salt Petal, and many more.
New for 2018, the annual festival will debut the Jose Cuervo Tradicional Tequila Garden, serving signature cocktails created with Tradicional, the original tequila made from 100% blue agave. The garden will also feature Jose Cuervo Tradicional’s Ofrenda installation, honoring unsung heroes from Mexican culture including: Cuervo founding lady Ana Gonzalez Rubio y de la Torre, painter Maria Izquierdo, Mexican revolutionist Emilliano Zapata and printmaker/illustrator Jose Guadalupe Posada. Guests can also sample authentic Mexican fare as they enjoy a full entertainment lineup that includes: Folklorico Del Mar, Folklorico Nadino, Folklorico Perlitas de Wilmington, Mariachi Academy of Carson, and Grand Vision’s Team Taiko.
When: Sunday, Oct. 28, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
398 West 6th St. San Pedro, CA; sanpedrodayofthedead.com
In the spirit of the Halloween season, L.A.’s iconic Border Grill is staying true to their Mexican heritage and will be featuring a cheeky Day of the Dead themed menu. As a nod to the Day of the Dead tradition of honoring those who have passed away, Border Grill has also curated four special cocktails in remembrance of recently passed culinarians and will be putting out an ofrenda (Day of the Dead Altar).
Border Grill’s Day of the Dead cocktail tributes include the Anthony Bourdain/El Mexicano made with aperol, El Silencio Mezcal, agave, and soda; the Robin Leach/El Royale made with Chambord, champagne, topped with pomegranate seeds; the Jonathan Gold/MariGOLD Margarita made made with Viva Reposado Tequila, Araceli Marigold liqueur, combier, fresh lime juice, agave, tajin, and garnished with micro marigold; and the Joel Robuchon/Robuchon 75: Tres Gen Silver, lime juice, and champagne.
Day of the Dead dishes include Ceviche Negro made with shrimp, scallops, squid ink, jicama, chipotle, and citrus marinade; Blood Sausage Tacos with pineapple-jicama salsa and queso fresca; and Pan De Muerto & Café De Olla with crème fraiche and hibiscus sauce, to name a few.
When: Now through Tuesday, Nov. 6
Union Bank Plaza, 445 S. Figueroa St. #100, Los Angeles; Bordergrill.com; @bordergrill
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