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Tucked behind a medical spa on Riverside Blvd in Toluca Lake is an old Spanish-style house that has been converted into Cascabel Restaurant. If you are driving down the street, you will not notice this restaurant but it is a special little find in Toluca Lake. Cascabel means "rattle" and is the name that is used for both a venomous South American rattlesnake and for a type of Mexican chili. Perhaps both are behind the name of Chef Alex Eusebio's restaurant. Dark wooden beams, light wood tables with turquoise accents and white walls with a large rattlesnake drawn throughout, convert the former house into an cozy, inviting restaurant. 

After a complete makeover, Viva Hollywood is adding a bit of spice to Hollywood Boulevard.

Located in the original Beso space, Viva Hollywood is large and open. It is bright with white walls and high ceilings. The bar and a lounge area are in the front half of the restaurant and flow through to the dining room. There is a stage at the far end of the restaurant for the nightly live music. Upstairs overlooking the dining room is additional seating as well as a private event area know as the "piñata room." From the dining room floor, you can look up into the private room that is filled with brightly colored piñatas.
A brand new Mexican restaurant opened a few months ago on 4th St. and the Santa Monica dining scene is heating up.  Named Mercado in homage to the fresh ingredients regularly ordered from the Farmer’s Market, the food and drinks are fresh takes on authentic Mexican cuisine. Owner Jesse Gomez grew up in the restaurant business. Almost 50 years ago his grandparents opened El Arco Iris Mexican restaurant in Highland Park in 1964. Jesse began working in the family restaurant and was responsible for modernizing El Arco Iris  and reintroducing the restaurant to the neighborhood. In 2009 he opened his own restaurant Yxta Cocina Mexicana in downtown LA.  Now Mercado is his third venture with partner Chef Jose Acevedo.