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Clubs | Club Hoppin'

Mexican Cantinas

November 12, 1998|TRACY JOHNSON

Where you'll find south-of-the-border fun without the drive.

* Baja Sharkeez has all that Tijuana has: loud music, Tex-Mex knickknacks, and food and drinks served in buckets. The house drink special is the Shark Attack, an 80-ounce tequila drink with 151-proof liquor, mai-tai mix and limes in a bucket with five straws. Ouch! 3801 Highland Ave., Manhattan Beach. (310) 545-6563. 21 and over after 9 p.m. Full menu. Other locations: 114 21st St., Newport Beach. (714) 673-0292.

* T.J. Charly'z is a dead-ringer for one of those happenin' hangouts on Tijuana's Avenida de Revolucion. Margaritas, Mexican beer and live music are mainstays in this brightly decorated restaurant-bar. 1532 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach. (310) 372-2194. 21 and over. Cover varies. Full menu.

* Baja Cantina attracts the surf set with its tasty margaritas, cool scene on the outdoor patio and live jazz indoors on Wednesday nights. 311 Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey. (310) 821-2252. All ages. No cover. Full menu.

* El Chavo is perhaps the coolest cantina in Silver Lake when it comes to kickin' back with a brew or the tart and tasty margaritas. Great if you're craving some south-of-the-border cookin' and ambience. 4441 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake. (213) 667-9727. All ages. No cover.

* Cozymel's, like Cozumel, is a fun-filled place with tons of personalized margaritas, a packed happy hour and a flashy ambience that includes veggies in bins and colorful cans of food like chiles lining the shelves. 2171 Rosecrans Ave., El Segundo. (310) 606-5464. All ages. No cover. Full menu.

* Riviera Mexican Grill evokes memories of Tijuana with its brightly painted walls, beachy decor and hopping happy hour where mango, prickly pear, strawberry and melon margaritas are all $3 between 4:30 and 7 p.m. 1615 S. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach. (310) 540-2501. All ages. No cover. Full menu.

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