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People have differing opinions on the gentrification of certain areas of Los Angeles. Often it results in minorities having to move further into the outskirts of town as rent prices rise and new people move in. It can revitalize the economy of a neighborhood, but it can also remove its history, its legacy and in many cases, its best food. Sometimes, though, gentrification can be downright hilarious. The Gold Room in Echo Park opened in 1983, catering to a mostly working class Latino clientele. As the years passed and the surrounding environs began to change, the inevitable happened: hipsters showed up.
These days, on a typical Friday night, drunk hipsters and drunk Latinos make up close to a 50-50 split. Everyone enjoys themselves, and everybody walks away full of two things -- alcohol and food. This inevitable truth comes thanks to The Special. A shot of tequila with a pint of their lowest grade beer costs four dollars. They also offer free food to anybody who is drinking (which is, let's be honest, everybody). Most often that means tacos, but on some occasions, particularly if they aren't too busy, they'll throw together quesadillas and serve them with a little of their spicy, homemade salsa instead. Is it the best tequila in the world? No, it's not even particularly good tequila, nor is it particularly good beer. The tacos and quesadillas? Well, of course not. But we'll tell you one thing, after spending eight dollars on two shots and two pints, a plate of free tacos starts to taste pretty darn good. Good luck finding that on a McDonald's Value Menu.
The Gold Room, 1558 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, (213) 482-5259.