Alyssa Morin

Best margarita: Palmilla

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Palmilla’s Greg and Ron Newman with their  signature margaritas. Photo by Chelsea Shreiber.

Palmilla’s Greg and Ron Newman with their signature margaritas. Photo by Chelsea Shreiber.

Palmilla has mastered the art of the modern margarita with concoctions ranging from raspberry serrano to sweet chipotle and fresh, spicy mango. The ingredients are what sets Palmilla’s margaritas apart

Bartenders like the affable Kevin Williams pluck market-fresh watermelon, mint, limes and cucumber from a beautiful menagerie of fixings lining the marble bar. Unlike other establishments that rely on flavored syrups and spirits, Palmilla gets its signature flavors from nature itself.

The stand out margarita is the “Watermelon Cilantro Cooler,” a blend of Cazadores Blanco tequila, fresh watermelon juice, organic agave nectar, lime juice, muddled cilantro and jalapeno.  It is served on the rocks with rim of Tajin, a Mexican brand of “fruit seasoning powder” made with dehydrated lime, chile peppers and salt that readies the palate for the sweet and spicy liquid its about to enjoy.

For those with simpler tastes, Palmilla also obliges with an excellent traditional margarita with fresh lime juice and homemade agave sweet and sour.

39 Pier Ave, HB. 310-374-4440. www.palmillarestaurant.com

Runner-up: Coyote Cantina, 531 N Pacific Coast Hwy, RB. 310-376-1066. www.coyotecantina.net