Best of L.A. -- People and Places

People & Places


Mariachi Plaza

Mariachi Plaza is quieter these days, thanks to a slowing economy and ongoing Metro line construction that has corraled the charros into a muraled corner along First Street. But as the largest mariachi exchange to be found north of the border, there are good values to be found. With so many musicians offering their services, how do you find the band that's right for your wedding, quinceañera or birthday? Ask the people milling around. Many of them are regular customers familiar with the styles and abilities of each band and can help you find the most talented players. Don't be shy about bargaining, preferably in Spanish — though English will do in a pinch. If you find one grupo too expensive, there's probably another across the street at the right price. Everything is flexible in Mariachi Plaza, and the "right price" is all about expectations. A good rule of thumb is between $40 to $60 per hour, per musician. This rule held up when I requested a lone singer, or a mini-philharmonic of 12 musicians. A lone Mariachi singer can create a big splash at your party, for only about $80 to $120 for a two-hour gig. Or you can pay about $325 an hour for the traditional six-man band. Corner of East 1st and Boyle streets, L.A. Sat., 12-3 p.m. is prime time, and it can extend into the evenings.

—Todd Krainin

Location Info

Previous Winners

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

Search Best Of Awards

Best Of Award Graphics 2009

Now Trending

  • Henry Rollins: Not Keeping It Real

    It’s 0607 hrs, which wouldn’t be so bad if I weren’t in Washington, D.C., having just arrived from Los Angeles yesterday afternoon. I am operating on about three hours of sleep. I’m sitting in the Starbucks at 1810 Wisconsin Ave., just blocks from the hotel where I am staying. This...
  • The Hottest Halloween Parties in L.A. (2014 Edition)

    Two full weekends of Halloween madness? What's a party monster to do? We say, suck it up (like a vampire) and become a full blown creature of the night. Trying to keep up with the scary surplus of clubby creep-a-thons and dress-up events in L.A. might kill you, but these...
  • The Best Concerts to See in L.A. This Weekend

    Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar! Friday, October 24 We Can Survive with Taylor Swift, Pharrell HOLLYWOOD BOWL Even with the change of seasons (however subtle that might be in Southern California), the Hollywood Bowl hosts one more big outdoor spectacle as if it were still...