The bartender’s name is Pancho. He’s a portly fellow with graying dark brown hair, a pencil-thin mustache and a friendly demeanor. Good thing, too, because Pancho served as our one-man welcoming committee to this Happy Hour Hound visit to Lisa’s Mexican Restaurant.
Held Monday through Friday from 3 to 6:30 p.m. inside Lisa’s Bar Mosaico, this particular happy hour helping holds its own. The bar itself is curtained off (with a heavy beaded curtain, no less) from the main dining room. Once inside Mosaico, you’ll find a fun mishmash of lighting options including several chandeliers and colorful holiday lights strewn about, but the lounge feel persists.
While the selection of beer offers scant craft options–against the current trend–it’s hard to turn down a $1.75 bottle of Bud Light, Budweiser, Lone Star, Coors Light, Miller Lite, Michelob Ultra or Shiner Bock. The beer is served ice cold, but you’re there for the house margaritas.
Served alongside Spanish sangria (more on this in a minute), house mixed drinks and a cosmopolitan (what is this, 2004?), the house marg is available in two sizes, small and large, at $4 and $7.50, respectively. If you make it to Lisa’s with only 30 minutes to spare before Happy Hour comes to an end, spring for the large and sip contentedly from the boozy and citrus-y offering that comes in a frosty fishbowl-esque glassware.
You’ll need something to soak up the tequila, and Lisa’s offers $5 appetizers to satiate most appetites. Sopes, quesadillas, super nachos, chips and queso, and queso flameado (served on a piping-hot mini skillet) were enticing, but Pancho talked us into La Botanita. More than enough for two people, the plate presented to us contained three bean and cheese nachos, more cheese by way of a quesadilla, two freshly fried chicken flautas and the accompanying iceberg lettuce, pico, sour cream, a dollop of guac and plenty of jalapeños to go around.
It was just enough food to help balance out the Spanish sangria, which Pancho layered into a Hurricane glass. The mixture starts with Midori melon liqueur, apple Pucker, a splash of pineapple juice, frozen peach schnapps and house red wine, all coming together to create a beverage that lacks authenticity, but makes up for it with sweet and sour notes–just make sure to give it a good stir.
Come Fridays, Pancho warned, the crowd gets a little more festive and a DJ spins tunes until midnight, but if you’re looking for a chill mid-week escape, make it out to Lisa’s and keep it puro in this Westside oasis.
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