The 7 Best Margaritas In SoCal

You'll want to try these updated warm-weather favorites

Mmmm, the sweet-sour-salty refreshment of a margarita. Not only are local chefs and bartenders mixing up the classic with fresh add-ins like cucumber, pomegranate and jalapeño, they’re swapping tequila for mezcal and even vodka. Intrigued? Here are seven of the most enticing creations that we’ve discovered.

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Living on the Wedge

Dinner-party dilemma: You offered to bring the cheese plate to your pal’s house. But you’re running late--and you can’t stomach the snobs at the store around the corner.

Enter Wheel House, a new Culver City cheese shop that’s brimming with over a hundred international and local cheeses and more. A staffer there explained that a great cheese plate has variety, but that doesn’t mean sharp and mild cheddar. Choosing selections from the milk of different animals is this place’s no-fail strategy.

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Chai Town

Coffee meets tea in a new beverage craze

Traditionally, there were coffee people and tea people. Now there’s a new crossover caffeine craze: the dirty chai latte, an espresso-and-chai-tea fusion that tastes like a coffee milkshake. The flavor is indeed memorable, with spicy undercurrents of cardamom, cinnamon and black pepper sweetening up the espresso. The caffeine high, meanwhile, is subtle; for something stronger, you’ll want to order it doppio.

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Rub-A-Grub

California Rancher celebrates barbecue

Local barbecue season lasts long past Labor Day, and we’re planning to serve a local specialty at our next cookout: authentic Santa Maria–style barbecue, by which we mean juicy tri-tip seasoned with black pepper, salt and garlic, then cooked over a red-oak fire and served with spicy pinquito beans.

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