Friday, June 5, 2009

Oh... El Coyote

I have some very mixed feelings towards this old and strange LA Mexican (yes loosely phrased) restaurant on Beverly Blvd, which I realize is rare, because most people have very STRONG feelings for many various reasons. I'm not kidding, people either love it or hate it and nobody, but nobody says they ever go for the food.

Let me go back a few years (2000 yikes) when Sweetie-Pie and I moved here and were broke broke broke (SP would say now we're just broke lol) and we knew nothing/nobody and spent 2 months surfing our one friend's couch and various cheap motels (ah yes it builds character). Good times. El Coyote was the first place we ate at, because I remembered Sharon Tate had her last meal there (ok, so I have a macabre tilt from time to time). I have to admit it (and no snarks, please) I enjoyed my meal and the chips and the funky colorful waitstaff and the extremely eclectic clientele. It was dinner and a show for two people for under $20 and for years we went once/twice a month, usually in the late afternoon to avoid crowds.

Then Prop 8 happened (staunchly AGAINST) and one of the owner's (Marjorie) donated $200 and listed the restaurant on her donation form. As a Mormon, apparently she feared for her soul not to donate, but not enough to stop her from making $$$ off selling lots of margaritas (what most people go there for I hear) to a large gay clientele for years on end, or hiring gay waitstaff (who not only lost their rights, but now perhaps their jobs). The ensuing boycott forced Marjorie into hiding and I'm assuming she no longer goes there. I hear business has never been the same.

It's six months later now and curiosity beckoned me to visit and see if there was a discernible difference and... yeah... it was different. Now I realize this particular time may have been a fluke, but even though it was fairly full, it was quieter, full of families and we couldn't see anyone drinking and only a couple people in the bar. Even the patio seemed a bit... tame. Not that this is bad, just different, but I wonder if they've suffered due to lack of alcohol sales, which I suspect was their main source of income. Now I think it's actually karma if they lose those sales, because it's hypocritical to make money off something your dogma stipulates as "vice", especially if it's money from people you view as inferior. Really, how can you pray that sin away?

However, I really don't want the restaurant to go under, nor want anyone to lose their jobs. It's one of the last few old/strange/funky/divey places that I think LA needs to retain some character. I just wish the owners would get their priorities straight.

SP took this pic on our way back to the parking lot. I liked them on the negative side by side, so he made a diptych for me.

Until next time... Miss Absinthe


drollgirl said...

ok, so she wanted to ban gay marriage?!??!?! if so, i think this served her right. argh! i am such a punisher!!!! and i totally hate the food at el coyote, but the drinks are good, and the price is right. now if they would just get their priorities straight!

um, not that you need to know this, but my favorite mexican place is EL COMPADRE on sunset. fucking delicious. dark. booze. reasonable prices. take it or leave it!

and i am new to your blog, and i like it. :)

have a great weekend, and sorry for writing a book here! ;)

Miss Absinthe said...

Merci Drollgirl. I appreciate your comment and honesty. Will blog soon about my favorite taco in town... :)