Happy hour buzz: Cochinita pibil, vegan tacos and margaritas at Toca Madera

Curious about the new Toca Madera? Check it out for happy hour. $8 tacos, vegan tacos and margaritas

Long week? Just start thinking about tacos and margaritas, and you'll feel better. 

If your commute takes you down 3rd Street in West Hollywood, you may have driven past Toca Madera. It's the new organic Mexican restaurant with the pretty facade, across from Sushi Roku. And often, there's either a fancy sports car or paparazzi (or both) just outside. 

But before the Hollywood crews fill the dining room and the regular dinner prices kick in, there's happy hour. It's happening from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday, and all the food, cocktails, house wine and sangria on the happy hour menu are $8. If you want draft beers, those are $4.

Because this is an organic Mexican restaurant with a regular menu, full vegan menu and gluten-free options, think cochinita pibil tacos with spiced citrus and banana leaf-braised heritage farm pork with guacamole, jalapeno cabbage, pickled onions, grilled pineapple and mango salsa; and chicken cilantro tacos with Jidori chicken, caramelized onions, serrano peppers, cilantro, avocado tomatillo salsa, queso fresco and pickled onions for the meat eaters in your party.

And for the vegans, sweet corn tamales made with roasted pasilla chiles, fire-roasted tomato salsa and avocado tomatillo sauce; and soyrizo asada tacos topped with guacamole, cilantro, red onions, sweet chipotle sauce and vegan mozzarella. 

If you're in your I'm-not-eating-carbs-right-now mode, the chipotle tofu lettuce wraps come without the tortillas, topped with garlic mojo, radish and vegan mozzarella. 

Each of the tacos and wraps come two to an order. 

To sip — or gulp, depending on how your week went down — the Toca Margarita is made with tequila blanco, Combier, agave, lime and orange; the La Bonita is made with tequila blanco, strawberry, basil, lime, black pepper and alderwood salt rim; and the Amante Picante is a spicy mix of tequila blanco, Patron citronage, serrano pepper, cilantro, lime, agave and tajín.

The plush purple booths provide comfy nooks to relax in. And after looking around and taking in the engraved skulls, living walls and some of the slightly medieval light fixtures, you may think of both Prince and "Game of Thrones." Three margaritas into your evening, you'll forget all about that "Game of Thrones" finale and head into the photo booth. 

8450 W. 3rd St., West Hollywood, www.tocamadera.com

Often a lush but always classy about it. Follow me on Twitter, and Instagram @Jenn_Harris_ 

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