Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?
A. A Mexican
cantina. The sign outside reads "Leonardo's Restaurant".
Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?
A. In Ensenada,
Q. When did we see it on the show?
A. In Episode 2 (of season 4), "The Gringos".
Following Marissa's death, Ryan goes to Mexico, hunting Volchok. He goes to a bar where Volchok is supposed to have worked, but learns he no longer works there.
Later, Seth, who is looking for Ryan, learns from a waitress (at that same bar) about Volchok's true whereabouts. But hoping to deflect a violent confrontation, Seth gives Ryan the wrong address.
That address takes Ryan to Leonardo's restaurant. Inside the cantina, Ryan spots a passage and follows it down a hallway to a small room where he suspects that Volchok is staying. Taking a heavy piece of pipe from his pocket, Ryan kicks down the door, only to discover that the room is empty.
(While this is going on, Seth goes to Volchok's real hiding place and warns him to get out of town, because Ryan is after him.)
As Ryan is heading out of Leonardo's, he meets Sandy and Kirsten Cohen entering the cantina. They see him, they talk, and Seth tells Ryan that he deliberately gave him the wrong address, and that Volchok is now gone. The Cohens convince Ryan to come back to Newport Beach.
Q. What is it actually in real life?
A. It is a real
restaurant/nightclub, but not in Mexico.
A. The name on the blue & white marquee is Leonardo's Restaurant, and it is located at 2800 S. Vermont Ave, in Los Angeles.
That is on the east side of Vermont, just south of W. 28th Street, in a building that looks like it might have once housed a movie theatre.
Most listings refer to it as "Leonardo's Night Club #2". (Apparently, there are at least two other Leonardo's.) La Opinion's list of nightclubs states: "Band, northern and regional Mexican on all weekends."
It is located near the other OC "Ensenada" filming locations, northwest of the USC campus. In fact, it's right across the street from the first "Ensenada bar" that Ryan visits.
Here is a Bird's Eye view aerial photo of the restaurant.
And here is a map link.
Some neighboring areas have experienced a high crime rate: exercise reasonable
Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?
A. This was the first of several The OC's "Ensenada" locations that I found in this area, and that's because it was the easiest one to find. During the episode, one can easily read the marquee above the door which reads "Leonardo's Restaurant". And the blue & white. theatre-like marquee (with a distinctive logo), made it an easy building easy to recognize. So, it was simply a matter of searching the Yellow Pages for the name, and then verifying the building via Live Local aerial photos.
first "Ensenada" location made it easier for me to locate
the rest of them.
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