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Toca Madera, West Third's Swanky New Mexican Hideaway

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The dark rooms and big bar make for a great night out.

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Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

It’s been a while since longtime drink spot St. Nicks Pub fell by the wayside. While it represented one of the last great places in the neighborhood to drink cheaply, in its place comes something much more colorful.

This is Toca Madera, a small plates Mexican concept by way of EDL Management Group and Tosh Berman, who is the man behind AV Nightclub. Initially scheduled to make a January debut, the casual spot with the booming sound system is finally landing right long the western edge of Third Street, bringing with it a loungey vibe and and retractable roof.

Dark and wood-lined, the 120 seat restaurant is practically overtaken by a massive bar made of crystal and quartz. Surrounding that, a long banquette fits a handful of two tops while much of the rest of the space works as a softened lounge, with plush seats and low tables. The mix of stone, tile and wood spills out into the indoor patio space, which is lined to the high ceiling with hanging plants in metal boxes. There’s even a built in photobooth for those particularly wild nights.

On the menu, executive chef Raymond Alvarez is cooking up "barrio-style fine dining," which translates into everything from tableside guacamole to sashimi aguachile to Ensenada-style fish tacos. Back at the bar, tequilas and mezcals take center stage, along with a rotating selection of beer and wine. See below for the entire menu.

Toca Madera Menu

Toca Madera opens tonight, with running daily hours from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Toca Madera
8450 W. 3rd St.Los Angeles, CA