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“Good food”
Review of El Cholo

El Cholo
Ranked #81 of 777 Restaurants in Santa Monica
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$ 1 - US$ 30
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Groups
Dining options: Lunch, After-hours, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Santa Monica
Reviewed 1 May 2018 via mobile

Seafood fajitas was great with shrimp, scallops, Mahi and lobster. Guacamole made table side was amazing. Drinks were good. Service not so good asked multiple times for water that never came. Nice valet parking for $6.

Thank Will S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (230)
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10 - 14 of 230 reviews

Reviewed 25 April 2018 via mobile

This place has been in business for years !! A typical place great service and for sure awesome drinks ! Salsa and chips to start omg. Great and fresh. Guacamole is good but if you need spice ask. The valet parking helps especially during busy hours the courtyard is awesome atmosphere !!! Typical Mexican good that is good portions large and will not hurt the wallet !!!

Thank denise k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2018

Sitting outside on the patio is pleasant on spring evenings, and you can bring your dog, but the menu is very limited, the food is not terribly Mexican, and the service is not the best. You do get a cloth napkin though.

Comparing to El Torito, the food here is quite disappointing and more expensive by a few dollars per plate. True, the decor both inside and outside is nicer, but add the cost of valet parking, and a dinner out gets pricey. There are better Mexican restaurants around.

    • Value
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1  Thank dan g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2018 via mobile

Came here for dinner during a family trip. Place was packed but with reservations we were promptly sat on arrival. For some reason our server seemed to dissuade our desire for table side guacamole recommending we take the premade stuff which ended up being overly creamy and watered down (?). Aside from that, the Cadillac margaritas were great, portions were LARGE and food was good. Service was attentive without being intrusive.

Thank Ana G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2018

Our favorite place for fresh, tasty Mexican cuisine.

The restaurant is one of the small chains in Los Angeles area (others being in downtown LA, La Habra, Anaheim Hills and Corona Del Mar); The one in Santa Monica, our favorite, is built Hacienda-style with both decorative indoor and outdoor seating. The original, near the Colesium, was started in 1923 by Rosa and Alejandro Borquezes, named Sonora and changed to El Cholo in 1925.

Among the dishes we like : Starters, Tostada Compuesta, Albondigas (meatball) soup; Mains: green corn Tamales (summer seasonal), Enchilada, Tamale and Taco combinations and fish Tacos. Sizzling Fajitas are also good, but a bit too well done. Oh, their Angus steak "Asada" or grilled, is a treat indeed--succulent, spicy with flavors that are just right.

One thing they could improve upon. There is only one seafood dish as an Entree, and it comes as a Taco, not as a full course meal; we would love for their Chef to serve some of the classic Latin /Mexican seafood dishes--e.g. Huachinango (red snapper) or Filete Empanizado (fish Filet).

In the adult beverage section, do try their Margaritas---from classic to the one that is absolutely breezy-fresh, called La Flaca (with orange liquor) and if you are the splurging kind, why not go for pricey ($24) 24 Carat variety--with Jose Cuervo Reserva de La Familia? By the way, the bottle of this golden Tequila retails for about $210!
Talking of pricey, we like the fact that El Cholo has kept their prices down-to-earth. Starters are around $8, Soups and Salads around $12 and Mains around $18.
Service is superb--quick, courteous. Ambience is excellent--the inside is large enough and not noisy.

We are delighted the restaurant has maintained its elegance, style and simple but very tasty cuisine.

    • Value
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Thank Shyam A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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