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El Baron in Culver City is a pupuseria with a night club problem. See, the steaming rounds of freshly fried masa, pushed to the limit inside with pork skins, cheese, loroco and more, are among the better versions you'll find west of the 101. But just behind the simple tables and Tupperware containers full of salsa is a full-on homemade nightclub. The dance floor isn't much bigger than a living room and the cheeky lasers, strobes and neon beams will have you believing you stumbled into a quinceañera dance party at someone's house. And you're not far off, considering the upbeat music selection with eggaeton influences and the chatty uncles who like to hang at the edge of the scene.
The dance floor at El Baron -- only a smidge smaller than the dining area, though it's tough to distinguish between them -- will show you what you missed if you were never a Latina 15-year-old. Overhead is a motley crew of party lights (strobes, lasers, neon beams) while some twinkly 3-D palm trees burn through the haze of wet party fog. At any given moment, a Latin band might take over for the grateful house DJ, whose brow sweat is threatening to flood his salsa/reggaeton set. In... More »
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