Bakersfield Mass Ave.

This hip spot in the old downtown Bazbeaux space, done up (or done down) with splintery timbers, steel beams, bourbon barrels, and dangling Edison bulbs, does a nice job with all the late-night standards: booze, raucous music, and tacos. A tatted Zooey Deschanel look-alike works the packed room, slinging heavy trays of fresh-flavored corn-tortilla tacos topped with the likes of achiote-braised pork, pickled red onions, habanero salsa, and cilantro. And the wonderfully fresh and fragrant housemade salsa verde and slices of lime make the perfect condiments. Plenty of customers (an assortment of artists, musicians, and industry bartenders) wash down the pretty little tacos with PBRs from glass boots—and even unnecessarily giant 32-ounce cans of High Life—but more-spirited regulars look past the watery brews and opt for one of the 50 bourbons or 50 tequilas.

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