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2304 San Diego Ave.
San Diego, CA 92110
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Mexican / Southwestern
$30 and under
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El Agave Details
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Sunday: 2:30pm - 11:00pm
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
Mexican / Southwestern
Juan Carlos Gomez
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Smoking Area, Takeout, View, Wine
Please call the restaurant for details.
Private Party Facilities:
Deposit required. Please call the restaurant for details.
Private Party Contact:
Carlos Aceves (619) 220-0692
Old Town Ave
Street parking also available.
A word from El Agave
El Agave was voted “Best Mexican Restaurant” in the San Diego Reader and San Diego Magazine in 1999. Chef Juan Carlos Gomez was also voted “1999 Chef of the Year” in Home and Garden.
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The most noteworthy aspect of El
Agave is the decor. Hundreds of tequila bottles of various colors (no two seemed to be alike) line the walls. Gently lit from behind, they glow like stained glass and suffuse the dining room with a soft romantic glow that is very appealing. The food and service were very good. The menu was much more sophisticated than the run-of-the-mill tacos, burritos, echiladas etc. that most Old Town restaurants offer. My only caveat is the price, which seemed to me about 25% to 35% higher than I've paid for comparable meals elsewhere. The wine list seemed especially overpriced."
Dined on 3/8/2014
This place was fabulous when it
was new but it has failed to continually reinvent itself so that now the concept and execution is as dusty as the hundreds of tequila bottles displayed. The food was tasty but the menu is limited; they do what they do and they keep doing it rather than do something new or different. The wine list is very limited and I was amazed that with all the tequilas displayed that there was not an extensive menu of tequila choices offered. I watched the margaritas being made all from premade mix rather than fresh squeezed juices as I would have expected from a place that bills their margaritas as top shelf. The beer was ice cold by way of redemption."
Dined on 2/23/2014
Very unique menu, and EVERYTHING
we had was outstanding. Huge selection of moles and tequila. Gourmet Mexican food at its finest!"
Dined on 3/7/2014
Very good food. Lots of Tequila
choices. Tried the Filet Agave. DonJulio Añejo. busy night service a little slow."
Dined on 3/5/2014
We have consistently high quality
meals there and the service is impeccable. Highly rated."
Dined on 3/1/2014
We had an awesome lunch for
thirteen people, to celebrate our mother's 91st birthday. The restaurant staff was wonderful, the food was upscale Mexican food, beautifully presented and authentically flavorful. Our cheers to the chef and management. You made this event quite memorable, and we will be back."
Dined on 2/23/2014
Perhaps our expectations were too
high based on a recommendation we had received, but other than the service by our waiter, this was 'just' very good. It is small and therefore, crowded. The decor is an almost unending display of reportedly 2500 bottles of Tequila. Interesting, but not warm and inviting. Their signature meals are based on Moles and they very literally dominate the underlying pork or chicken. The other menu items may be more flavorful, so if we go again, I'll share that experience."
Dined on 2/15/2014
The waiter was kind and extremely
knowledgeable about tequila. I am a novice and was very pleased with his recommendation."
Dined on 2/15/2014
I was really looking foward to
eating here. Unfortunately the service was awful. The server complained to us about the cooks right off the bat and the food took 45 min to reach our table. I wish I could say it was worth the wait but it was mediocre at best. With the amount of money we paid for dinner, I could have gone without hearing about the kitchen/server drama. Needless to say my husband and I left very disappointed. We will not be returning."
Dined on 2/14/2014
This is the place for experiencing
the delightful and flavorful variety of moles along with their optimal match of tequilas. Enjoy!"
Dined on 2/12/2014
I had been to El Agave a bit more
than a year ago and thought it would be a great place to bring a colleague from the Midwest who was craving a high end Margarita and upscale Mexican food. I was so embarrassed! The margaritas were weak, overly sweet, and packed with ice. We were a party of six and two of the dinners were ice cold and had to be sent back to the kitchen to be heated. To make matters worse, the waiter acted bored and had to be flagged down to get basic service like refilling water glasses and ordering wine for dinner. The food was good overall but was overpriced and when taken into account with the poor quality of the drinks and the terrible service, I will not return and would never recommend the restaurant."
Dined on 2/10/2014
Its hard to explain how hundreds
of empty tequila bottles on shelves, all backlit would be so beautiful but the ambiance at El Agave immediately lets you know you are somewhere special. You feel both romantic and excited with multicolored bottles everywhere. The tequila list is unsurpassed in San Diego and many staff are tequila knowledgeable. The moles and cactus salad are to die for. We've never had anything but a great meal and always confidently take out of town foodie friends there."
Dined on 2/8/2014
Great margaritas and more Mexican
authentic than the many typical Mexican restaurants around town"
Dined on 2/3/2014
Well, we brought two friends on a
blind date, they had a good time, the food was good. However, my friend ordered salmon without sauce, it came smothered in sauce. That was the only negative we had all night. I had shrimp in a tequila sauce, very tasty."
Dined on 2/1/2014
Great as always! Drinks are the
best. The best tequilas available!"
Dined on 1/27/2014
This was a blind pick to meet with
new friends. I was impressed by the atmosphere and how warm it was. Very eclectic décor that is inviting and unique. It feels like being with long lost family. The food is very upscale and the prices go with it. We enjoyed the dining menu for San Diego restaurant week. This is not your regular Mexican dining – everything is very fresh with plenty of good seafood with bright flavors. Make this a special occasion place for that special someone."
Dined on 1/27/2014
Food was very good, the service
even better. Their house margarita was above average, but their forte' is in suggesting tequilas for sipping. They don't even bother with a tequila list (I'm sure it's very long and variable), if you don't know a specific brand that you want then they'll just ask you a few questions and then suggest two or three options. In my case, they brought two bottles to the table for me to sample before making my selection. Other reviewers say the place is expensive, and I would agree---but only a point. It's a semi-premium experience, and on that basis they charge appropriately, in my opinion (I've dined in some pretty premium venues, as I travel a lot for work). I'll be back next time I'm town, for sure."
Dined on 1/23/2014
Dinner was d'lish! Everything was
cooked to perfection and the margarita was outstanding! Our table was great. A high table and stools that was very attractive and comfortable. The collection of tequila is impressive! It looks like a "liveable tequila museum" !"
Dined on 1/24/2014
The lunch offered for restaurant
week was amazing. Great portions and quality fit for a King and Queen!"
Dined on 1/19/2014
El Agave is by far the best high
end Mexican dining you will have in Southern California. In fact, one of the best of any cuisine. If you haven't been here, go. If you have, keep going. Not to mention the tequila selection and excellent service."
Dined on 12/31/2013
Great food, but unfortunately, the
same old problem, the portions are too big! Lovely dining room with good ambience."
Dined on 12/30/2013
El Agave is a long-term fixture in
the Old Town area of San Diego for a very good reason--it's consistently excellent! The restaurant is known for their outstanding mole sauces and high-end Mexican food as well as a phenomenal selection of tequilas covering a wide range of prices. Needless to say--outstanding margaritas. For those who understand there is a lot more to Mexican food than Taco Bell this is a continuing treasure. My seven brothers all insist on visiting for at least one dinner when in town--and sometimes two!"
Dined on 12/27/2013
Overall a nice experience. Food
was good (2 of 4 in our party were presented with a less than hot entree). Service was slow and would have been enhanced if the server had paid more attention to our order and less to showing his "personality"."
Dined on 12/27/2013
The moles are really good. Many
many tequilas! Nice waitstaff."
Dined on 12/24/2013
The meal at El Agave was superb.
Service was top notch, attentive but not intrusive. Margaritas were excellent. Our two entrees were absolutely delicious."
Dined on 12/14/2013
Excellent preparation of food.
Made more like my mother's cooking and not the usual greasy food you get in some other Mexican food restaurants. High quality homemade chorizo in the sopes."
Dined on 12/9/2013
Food was fabulous. Very different
mex food...regional and creative. Margaritas were the best. Uses 100% agave. Lived here a long time and never been...we will definitely be back!!"
Dined on 12/7/2013
I dined here with a friend. My
friend ordered the poblan mole. The chicken was dry and the mole was the worst ever - tasted like burnt chocolate with pepper. I had the sea bass. It was salty and tasted fishy and the vegetables were overcooked, lacked flavor and color. On the bright side, our margaritas and chalupa langosta (appetizers) were good. We should've quit while ahead. I won't dine here again."
Dined on 9/16/2013
Wait staff was very attentive and
provided information on the tequillas. food was excellent"
Dined on 11/23/2013
The lobster meat balls were
excellent. The chicken for the moles was dry. We received 2 trays of chips n dip which was great because everyone was hungry."
Dined on 11/14/2013
Really good Margaritas. The
restaurant's signature dish are Moles which were well prepared and probably top notch even though it is not my favorite dish. The reason for the poor service rating had to do with one waiter and did not reflect on the other personnel in the restaurant. Our particular waiter was deliberately rude. He had an attitude from the start. Really nice the way the restaurant is decorated with all of the Tequila bottles. Would recommend the restaurant for a different Mexican experience."
Dined on 11/16/2013
You would think you are in Mexico
by reading the menu choices. The mole - you are experiencing true Mexican mole at El Agave. The tequila selection lines the walls - hundreds of varieties of top shelf tequila. The food is exceptional - The Filete Agave should be featured on one of those Best of the Best cooking shows - it was melt in your mouth good."
Dined on 11/13/2013
The restaurant was decorated in
all types of tequila bottles, and although it sounds likes college room it was beautiful. The drinks from the bar were well made, and didn't mask the flavor of the tequila. The food is were the experience was superb... Mole like you get in good restaurants in Mexico. The meat was well cooked and the sides were a decent accompaniment although they wouldn't stand on their own."
Dined on 11/9/2013
Every 2 or 3 years I attend a
convention in San Diego and since 2002, going to El Agave at least once on each trip has been something I eagerly look forward to. I know that I will have multiple great moles to decide between, wonderful salsas and, oh yeah, all those great tequilas, which the people at El Agave are always happy to guide us through. It is a good place to introduce people to central Mexican cuisine and the people who work at El Agave take real pride in explaining the subtleties of the different dishes to first timers, so I enjoy introducing this place to friends who have not been there before."
Dined on 11/7/2013
We celebrated my husband's
birthday and had a wonderful time. The food was excellent and the selection of tequilas is fun to explore. Great place for Mexican with a flair!"
Dined on 11/10/2013
El Agave was new to me and
definitely was a pleasure--with the elegant owner even helping me walk my elderly mother up the ramp to the restaurant! The food was gourmet and with excellent flavors and nuances; and, the service was good and solicitous. I can't wait for the Del Mar site to open since it will be closer to where I live in Carmel Valley."
Dined on 11/7/2013
The meal was fantastic. the
service superb and the ambiance was trendy rustic. Moles are wonderful. Highly recommend."
Dined on 11/8/2013
As the name suggests, this is an
awesome, upper scale tequila bar. The Food is Very, Very good! Try their sauces - you will not be disappointed. My new secret place in Old Town when I visit San Diego."
Dined on 10/22/2013
My husband & I were there a few
weeks ago & had a great meal & excellent service, so took son & his wife for our birthday celebrations this week. The restaurant was very crowded (good for them, but not for us), & they seemed unprepared & understaffed. The food was disappointing--my husband's steak was way overcooked & too salty. Others' meals just pretty good. We were very disappointed after our last experience."
Dined on 10/23/2013
We really enjoyed the opportunity
to try new foods and flavors. The atmosphere was very nice and the service was great! The prices were a little higher than we expected with the $$ from Open Table but we decided to give it a try anyway. Glad hat we did, the food was outstanding and the menu was excitingly different. We are happy we tried something new."
Dined on 10/11/2013
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