Tequila Mixology Contest at Ortega 120

Tequila Cocktails at Ortega 120

Ortega 120 in Redondo Beach, where you can order LA Weekly’s Best Classic Margarita of 2009, will also be the site for an inaugural “Toma Tequila” Mixology Contest. Amateurs will compete for the grand prize of a $250 gift certificate to the restaurant, an editorial feature in Mutineer Magazine and, of course, have their winning recipe on Ortega 120’s cocktail menu alongside Chef Thomas Ortega’s imaginative dishes.

No professionals allowed – only amateurs are eligible to compete. To enter, submit your best tequila-infused recipe. Judges will narrow it down to a final three, which will have been chosen on a set criteria: taste, creativity, visual presentation and mixology practicality. And you should be excited (or intimidated) to find out who the judges are, including Ortega 120’s Demi Stevens, Mutineer Magazine Editor-in-Chief Alan Kropf, Carole Dixon of FEAST LA, Hadley Tomicky of Grub Street LA and Josh Lurie of Food GPS. Selected finalists will compete live at the restaurant on the evening of May 3rd.

Other events going on at Ortega 120 for that week include:

Sunday, May 2 – Sister Cities International Charity Fundraiser
Monday, May 3 – Ortega 120 “Toma Tequila” Mixology Competition Finals
Tuesday, May 4 – Tequila University
Wednesday, May 5 – Cinco de Mayo Grand Fiesta with folklorico dancers

May the best tequila cocktail win!

Finals: Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Entry form

Submit to ortega120contest [dot] com.

Ortega 120
1814 Pacific Coast Highway
Redondo Beach, CA 90277


Hell’s Kitchen Viewing Party at Ortega 120

Photo courtesy of Maya of Shop Eat Sleep

Anyone watch Hell’s Kitchen? Anybody simply feel like good Mexican food and/or margaritas in the South Bay on a Tuesday? Ortega 120 (previous write-up) is holding a Hell’s Kitchen Finale viewing party at their Redondo Beach restaurant where Chef Tommy Ortega will be serving up the very dish he made in his guest appearance on the finale:

Pato con Mole Oaxaqueno

Pan-seared maple farm duck breast, Oaxacan mole negro, Partida Tequila-poached manzana, onion confit

The dish is the first time the duck breast dish will ever be offered and available to order. For Ortega 120’s special viewing party, the resto will also employ Folklórico dancers, Partida Tequila paletas (popsicles) and Partida Tequila tastings for your pleasure. And don’t forget that for 2009, Ortega’s Partida margarita was awarded the “Best Classic Margarita” by LA Weekly. All readers who mention this LA Weekly award will receive a special discount on their margarita! Without question, it’s an award my own limited tolerance and consumption wholeheartedly agrees with. Nothing but lime juice, agave nectar and some of the best tequila I’ve tasted even on the sip.

It’ll the best thing to have in your raised glass as Chef Tommy appears on the projected screen… FOX 11 will be there to film the live Ortega 120 action at 10PM broadcast.

Photo courtesy of FOX


Tuesday, October 13

7 – 11 PM

Ortega 120
1814 S. Pacific Coast Highway
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Trek to Redondo: Ortega 120 Tasting

I don’t usually touch the South Bay. Yeah, I’ve said it. It’s tough to find occasion when there’s so much to explore north of LAX. I may have found that occasion now.

Ortega 120, located in Redondo Beach, is a good reason to visit. Maya of ShopEatsleep and I attended a tasting there and every corner I turned, I found a fresh, unique perspective in each bite. Their margaritas were some of the best I’ve ever tasted thanks to real juices and Partida tequila; each bite tasted a little bit like home. (I am not Mexican.)

I’ll say this off the bat: Ortega 120 know how to do media dinners. The margaritas, courses, cocktail courses and the like kept coming. Cofounders Demi Stevens and Thomas Ortega were on hand to give our meal a personal feel – and somehow I can believe that they’re around to do so with all their guests.

We started with a Taco de Atun Crudo (above) which was filled with Ahi Poke yellow fin tuna, roasted corn, mango, cilantro, roasted red peppers, chili oil and chili crema fresca and topped with guacamole. It was an appropriately light starter and I thought the guacamole brought out the flavor in the poke pretty nicely. The taco was paired with the a pomegranate ginger margarita – and although we all had at least a full glass of the house margarita still, our apéritif – I honestly think these margaritas could be paired with any dish since they were all so fresh. Only juices, no sweet & sour. No sugar, only agave nectar – which doesn’t give you that wired nor crash & burn feeling like sugar. 

Continue reading