Best Old Bar Not Stuck in The Past, August 2010
At 50, El Cid remains remarkably relevant, untouched by the effects of aging (OK, those nuts were a little stale) or the hipification of the surrounding Silver Lake and Los Feliz areas. Its Spanish structure, built in 1925, has been futzed with just enough to leave you unsure whether it dates from 1907 or 1977. The patio is a hidden treasure: Descend a long staircase into a bilevel courtyard with its own bar, booth seating, and a stucco wall perfect for screening movies. The stage has become a sort of community performance space, with comedy open mics, dinner theater, DJ nights, concerts, and the flamenco dancers who have been stomping with fiery passion here from day one.