A lot of attention was paidA lot of attention was paid to the food which was fresh, well-prepared, and very tasty. The salmon dish was one of the best I have ever tasted. The margueritas were also excellent. We will recommend El Gusano to our friends and look forward to returning. The service was attentive in that our glasses were kept full and the chips and excellent dips were plentiful. But there were delays between courses and in getting our check that might have been annoying if we were in a hurry or if the food had been less enjoyable.6/8/2013 12:00:00 AMWe had a very good diningWe had a very good dining experience. This is a very nice upscale Mexican restaurant with both traditional TexMex and also some very interesting other items on the meno. Also a great choice of hot sauces that were unusual and very tasty as well.6/1/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat Date Night!!Bought the deal on Living Social, and we went for a date night! It was wonderful!!! The margaritas were great!! When I asked for the flavors, when they were out of my first choice the waiter suggested the Hibiscus... OMG this was the best drink, a must try!! The food was great,the rice and beans were so flavorful, not a throwaway like at most places. My wife and I both agreed for upscale Mexican we would differently recommend El Gusano!!5/25/2013 12:00:00 AMEl Gusano is a wonderful additionEl Gusano is a wonderful addition to the downtown Oakland restaurant scene. Flavorful, traditional Mexican cuisine, that is not your ordinary expected dishes. Great seafood entrees, pork, chicken and beef were all perfectly prepared. We have enjoyed its sister restaurant, Troposueno and will return often to this Oakland gem.5/25/2013 12:00:00 AMA bit too much salt crossA bit too much salt cross the board but overall everything was fresh, flavorful & authentic.5/11/2013 12:00:00 AMDon't WaitIt won't be long before there'll be long waits to get in here. The food is very good, a full bar awaits your margarita or pisco sour. I had the Tres Huaraches Cochinita which were little pieces of heaven. They haven't been open long but they're sure to catch on.5/11/2013 12:00:00 AMGourmet MexicanThey have taken the concept of gourmet Mexican. Though it doesn't match my current favorites, Nopalito and Comal, it is far less expensive.
My wife had two appetizers for her meal - the carnitas tostaditas and the fried plantains with black beans. Each dish was 8 or 9 dollars and each could have been a meal. I did not try the tostaditas (small tostadas), but she liked them fine (She's not a huge Mexican food fan like me.) I had a couple of her fried plantains and they were perfect!
I had the carne asada and beef barbacoa enchilada plate called Tampequenos. The steak was thin, as it should be, but huge. I would have preferred a cheese enchilada with the steak. Their margaritas are good and reasonably priced - $8 for the house.5/10/2013 12:00:00 AMMexican cuisine, like from Mexico!Delicious dishes and margaritas are all you need to know - this place is a foodie mecca right in downtown Oakland. We had huaraches with pork three ways and salmon ceviche. Easy to get a table, I hope for a while longer so that we can return without waiting in line like at Tropisueno!5/9/2013 12:00:00 AMOh Sooo Good!A clear cut above typical mexican dinner! Great selection of appetizers. Sea Scallops were memorable. Fried plantains are a must have. The tampiqueño, and the huaraches “tres cochinitas” were hits too. Good drink choices, especially the mango and serrano margarita. Friendly, attentive servers, attractive, open space. Been here twice already, ready for round three!5/4/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat new upscale MexicanGreat new upscale Mexican restaurant. Good selection of choices including seafood. Well prepared entrees with creative and generous portions accompanied by colorful and fresh garnishes. 3 yummy salsas come with the chips. Love the rustic interior decor and atmosphere. Reasonably priced. Definitely will come back.4/20/2013 12:00:00 AMWe thoroughly enjoyed ourWe thoroughly enjoyed our dinner at El Gusano. We weren't extremely hungry so we shared everything. We had excellent house Margartas. Quite potent, but tasty. The chips were served with 3 different salsas all very good and the guacamole we ordered didn't dissapoint. For an appetizer we had the shrimp in a creamy garlic sauce on a bed of carmelized onions. Although heavy with garlic the shrimp still tasted very fresh. Our entree was Huaraches "tres cochinitas" --tortillas topped with 3 different preparations of pork --chile verde, carnitas and al pastor with pineapple. Each one was perfectly spiced and wonderfully flavorful. For dessert we shared a piece of Tres Leches cake. Service was warm and friendly. Loved it! We'll be back4/20/2013 12:00:00 AMTruly delicious Mexican food!I found this while looking for somewhere new to go on OpenTable and it was a great find! The menu had plenty of variety and the items that my friend and I ordered were delicious, with wonderful seasonings and flavors. Our only complaint was that it was quite loud in the restaurant, (at 6:45 on a Thursday night the place was packed), so this isn't the place to go if you're looking for a quiet conversation during your meal. I will definitely go there again.4/18/2013 12:00:00 AMEvery item we ordered wasEvery item we ordered was delicious. Even the chips and salsa were very tasty. The service was outstanding. Friendly, attentive and accommodating to every request. The space is cool to boot. Definitely will go back when I'm in Oakland.4/10/2013 12:00:00 AMInnovative menu!, great service,Innovative menu!, great service, a wonderful addition to Oakland's restaurant community.4/6/2013 12:00:00 AMFantastic Mexican/Latin AmericanFantastic Mexican/Latin American food. We loved the mushroom empanadas, carnitas, chicken tinga tostadas, and the chips and salsas are addictive. I also appreciated how they have traditional plates (for example, two items with rice & beans), which are kid-friendly but also very high quality. This rivals other gourmet Latin American restaurants in Oakland/Berkeley. We plan to return!4/6/2013 12:00:00 AMmango and serano margaritamango and serano margarita - yummy! Callos a la Plancha - yummy! Tacos de Cachete - meh, nothing special. Platanos Fritos - good4/4/2013 12:00:00 AMhad a great dinner. Best mexicanhad a great dinner. Best mexican food I have eaten in a long time.3/23/2013 12:00:00 AMWent to this place for theWent to this place for the second time last night with friends and had the best service I have had anywhere in a long, long time. The waiter--who I will bet was an owner or manager--was very attentive, and clearly proud of the product. We were using a Groupon and he still treated us like royalty. Margaritas on the table practically as we sat down. Awesome appetizers: in fact, my husband and I repeated one apiece as our entrees. Large, lovely fresh salad. Beautiful, imaginative decor. Traditional combo plates for the less adventurous. Amazing trifecta of salsas. The costs add up, and they have a bizarre habit of seating parties right next to one another when there is plenty of other room to seat them a bit more privately; otherwise,great!3/19/2013 12:00:00 AMWe had hopes for El GusanoWe had hopes for El Gusano considering it is the little sister of the great Tropisueno. Happy to report, they did not disappoint! The food is excellent! As parents who don’t get many nights out alone and we appreciate they are kid friendly.3/16/2013 12:00:00 AMA very good Mexican restaurant.A very good Mexican restaurant. Classic dishes well executed in an upscale atmosphere.
I started with a Pepino cocktail; a refreshing change from Margaritas. It is as cool as a cucumber - literally. Drinks and chips were brought quickly. The main course not so.
A bit slow as others have noted.
The salsas with the chips were excellent, only the habañero salsa was hot, and only briefly. (My impression - I love spicy)
My meal was the Chile Verde which was robust, and with clean defined flavors. Not particularly picante, well flavored and rich. The portion was generous without being ridiculous. Obligatory beans and rice were also excellent.
Other than being somewhat slow service was very good.3/15/2013 12:00:00 AM