Get Out of Town
Eat like Royalty & then Watch the Kings
March, 2024 - Issue #228
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

As we pulled into the driveway just after 11pm, my daughter Brooke pronounced our evening outing a "10 out of 10."
It was indeed a fun night as we cheered one of LA's championship-winning professional sports franchises and dined at one of the city's oldest restaurants, all with a large group of family and friends.
My oldest daughter Laurel asked about catching the Kings at Arena when she was home for a recent visit. She's a new convert to the sport, something she picked up during a semester abroad in Ireland, of all places.
What began as a small outing for our family of six turned into a full-fledged event with 17 people that included uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
The night started with dinner at El Cholo, which celebrated its 100th anniversary of serving Mexican food to Angelenos in 2024. While the original is on Western in Mid City, we opted for the location on Flower, just a block away from the arena. Parking at the lot on 11th and Flower made everything super convenient.
We rolled the dice and walked in without reservations. Our whole group wasn't there, but the majority were. To the staff's credit, they didn't blink. With a few adjustments, they soon had us seated in the large front dining room with its high-backed wooden booths and view of the comings and goings on Flower Street.
"Crypto is a great venue for spectating. Even in the uppermost rows, it's easy to follow the action and HEAR THE BOARDS RATTLE after a hard check."
The menu is a literal history of Mexican food. Next to each item is the year it appeared on the menu: guacamole, 1955; nachos, 1959; quesadilla, 1969; fajitas, 1984; fish tacos, 2001.
And, yes, there are still items that date to the beginning, like the Sonora Style Enchilada - layered corn tortillas, simmered chicken, salsa roja and salsa verde, all topped with a fried egg. It's an impressive presentation and more food than most people could eat in one sitting. My son Drew thought he was up for the challenge, but even he couldn't clear his plate.
I went old school, too, opting for the chile con carne - chunks of tender beef in a rich red sauce. I spooned meat and sauce into handmade tortillas - also a menu staple from day one - and enjoyed every bite.
El Cholo definitely favors the home crowd. Kings fans in hats and jerseys were still filing in as we made our way out to walk to the arena.
I've been to two Kings games in the past year, and while I can't claim to be a hockey fan - please don't ask me to explain the whole red line/blue line thing - it's growing on me. Mostly because Crypto is a great venue for spectating. Even in the uppermost rows, it's easy to follow the action and hear the boards rattle after a hard check.
Plus, the team knows how to put on a fan-focused show with pulsing lights, massive video boards, a live DJ and silly contests. Even if you're not chosen to ride the Zamboni, it's an engaging and fun experience. Oh, and the hockey's good, too. The Kings beat their in-state rivals, the San Jose Sharks, 5-1.
With the game ending around 10pm on a weeknight, I was thankful we had chosen to park close to the arena. It was a short walk to the car. And even after dealing with traffic on Figueroa, it was still a relatively easy drive back to the Santa Clarita Valley.
Good food, great hockey and a smooth drive home from Downtown LA? Ten out of 10, indeed!
Eric Harnish lives in Castaic, which is also home to legendary Mexican food.

Score some fun...
El Cholo
Los Angeles Kings
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