Old and New in One Cool Cantina

It's Cinco de Mayo and Las Hadas Mexican Restaurant and Cantina's 14th annual celebracion will mark the day with traditional music and rock 'n' roll.

Owner Dee Lopez said festivities begin at 5 p.m. when the first mariachi band, made up of young'uns--including some still in grade school--will perform in traditional costume, followed at 7 by a larger and little older mariachi band.

At 9 p.m. the dancing begins, with a DJ who will be spinning Top 40 hits.

THE SCENE: Las Hadas has two separate sections: a restaurant and a large bar that doubles as a sports bar and a dance club. There's an old-style, homey flavor to the joint, with its dark wood booths, adobe-like walls and a multitude of movie stills that adorn the whole restaurant.

THE CROWD: Because of its dual role as restaurant and bar, Las Hadas has a mix of customers. Regular visitor Brad Gilmore says Las Hadas is pretty cool, one of just a few places in Northridge where people can hang out. The restaurant attracts families and couples, and the bar is filled with dance enthusiasts, sports fans and those in search of good margaritas, which are enormous and hard to pass up.

THE WORD: "It's clean and the service is good and everyone here is nice," said Steve Wear, who occasionally stops by Las Hadas for a tall cool one with two of his buds, Gilmore and David (Burly) Kent.

Las Hadas Mexican Restaurant and Cantina, 9048 Balboa Blvd., Northridge, (818) 892-7271. No cover, no drink minimum. Entertainment begins at 5 p.m. Restaurant takes last order at 11 p.m. Bar closes at 1:30 a.m.

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