Where to find the best margaritas.

El Coyote, 7312 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 939-2255. The key to ordering margaritas at this L.A. eatery, famous perhaps even more for its fabulous margaritas than its food, is to order them by the pitcher. This is a great place for a good old-fashioned margarita.

Mexicali, 12161 Ventura Blvd., Studio City. (818) 985-1744. This funky restaurant and bar uses just about every flavor under the sun in its margaritas, including raspberry, strawberry, banana-melon, peach schnapps and Midori.

El Adobe, 5536 Melrose Ave., Hollywood. (213) 462-9421. Located in the backyard of Paramount Studios, this restaurant is the spot to see an occasional star or party it up with an exec over a traditional margarita. The salted ones are best.

El Chavo, 4441 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake. (213) 664-0871. The brightly colored kitschy decor tones of this favorite neighborhood establishment are toned down a bit with the frozen, salted margarita. It packs one sour wallop.

Gilbert's, 2526 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 452-9841. This restaurant is where the underbelly and the hip side of Santa Monica converge. The margarita pitchers are big and the margaritas are potent and cheap.

Cozymel's, 2171 Rosecrans Ave., El Segundo. (310) 606-5464. Have your margarita your way in this splashy cantina, which has just about every brand of tequila on hand and can mix 'em with everything from mango juice to Chambord.

Marix, 118 Entrada St., Santa Monica. (310) 459-8596. If you're looking for beach-side beverages, shoot toward this trendy Santa Monica location, where the salted margs on the rocks can't be beat. Or try the West Hollywood location at 1108 N. Flores St. (213) 656-8800.

Border Grill, 1445 4th St., Santa Monica. (310) 451-1655. Try the prickly pear, watermelon or lime flavors on the rocks or blended at this hip Mexican eatery near the Third Street Promenade.

Cobalt Cantina, 616 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 659-8691. During happy hour at this hip eatery, you can get two blue or cranberry margaritas for $4. The first drink is $3.75, the second is only a quarter. Happy hour ends at 7 p.m.

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