BEST SOUTH-OF-THE-BORDER BAR (2009)

La Zona Rosa

With cowboy hats bobbing on the dance floor, low, stuccoed ceilings, and women who top their high skirts with even higher hairdos, La Zona Rosa is as close as L.A. gets to a real border town nightclub. It's like Mexicali with far cleaner bathrooms. On Tuesdays and Sundays, when La Zona Rosa forsakes its cover charge, the parking lot overflows and the accordions don't stop until 2 a.m. There's live music nightly that might have its origins in south Texas or the Straits of Magellan, or might include banda, cumbia or reggaeton. The club attracts a mostly over-35 crowd with an upbeat, sexy vibe that can translate into some heavy-grinding ranchera dancing, and sometimes quite a bit more. That's especially true at Thursday's regular Concurso de Piernas, where ladies win prizes (and gritos) for the best and barest thighs. When you just can't take it anymore, there's a taco bar and bacon-wrapped hot dog stand waiting for you outside. Cover charge of $20 when the better-known bands play. 1010 E. Cesar E. Chavez Ave., L.A. (323) 223-5683. Valet parking $5.

—Todd Krainin

Location Details

1010 E. Cesar E Chavez Ave.
Los Angeles CA 90033
323-223-5683