El Torito Grill - Irvine

El Torito Grill - Irvine

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.etgrill.com/
  • Phone: 9499751220
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Daily: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Brunch: Sunday: 9:00am - 9:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 3:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 3:00pm - 10:00pm;
  • Payment Options:
  • Cuisine: Mexican, Latin / Spanish
  • Executive Chef: Pepe lopez
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Getting there

  • Parking: No
A word from El Torito Grill - Irvine
El Torito Grill features specialty menu items created by the Company's executive chef, Pepe Lopez, including mesquite broiled fish and steaks, as well as Mexican combination platters. Salads and soups are also available for both lunch and dinner. To compliment the range of specialty items, El Torito Grill offers a wide selection of upscale margaritas, in addition to a complete list of Mexican beers and cocktails.
Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Brunch
El Torito Grill - Irvine reviews from OpenTable diners
44 reviews since May 25, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food3.8
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (26)great for lunch (16)great for brunch (16)great for outdoor dining (15)special occasion (10)kid-friendly (9)fit for foodies (7)neighborhood gem (6)vibrant bar scene (6)romantic (3)hot spot (2)late-night find (2)Show More
  • Never disappoints
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    I regularly conduct lunch/dinner meetings at this particular location. Their service is fantastic! Why 4 out of 5 stars? The sound system seems to have a life of its own.....low music turned blaring that you could not hear the person right next to you. Took quite some time to get them to turn it down. This will not deter me from visiting again - you can't beat the food and service!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quickly going downhill
    BBarnes
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    This used to be my favorite restaurant but the last time I went and took 14 coworkers, it was a serious let down. It seems that they have 86'd the ceviche, even though it's still on the menu. 2 people wanted a mango margarita and they were out of mango. I ordered fajitas and it was not sizzling plus the meats were overlooked. The waitress was too busy eating and chatting to get us our beverages in a timely manner. I will not be taking anyone back there and will have to find a new favorite restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Sad
    Derrick
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Each time I've come there has been an issue. Wrong order Everytime except the last two visits but they forget everything and you sit waiting. No water refills, brought my fajitas but no tortillas for 10 mins. Awful. I'll never go back
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Steve
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Need bacon Need bacon Need bacon Need bacon Need bacon
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food Quality
    sorry3
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Ordered Cerviche - not available. All food arrived very late apparent it had been sitting under a heat lamp for quite some time.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • it was good
    nezz
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    it was my grandmothers birthday and she had a nice Sunday brunch and fun birthday there ! a lot of food
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Celebration Possibility
    CalGal
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    Brought party of 10 to Irvine El Torito Grill to celebrate grandfather's birthday. Space adequate to accommodate our group's size, terrific server in Rodisela, and plenty of food to choose from for all age levels (2 yrs to 78 yrs). We did not feel rushed and enjoyed our time together, but did find the traffic pattern of the food service area a bit difficult to navigate due to congestion and restricted flow on the floor, especially as the opening for the food service area is right where people enter the restaurant itself, which contributed to the crowding. Still, we would return again.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    mikey2005
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    The tortillas they bring out with the chips are excellent!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Hit or Miss
    Flumpp
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    This place is somewhat inconsistent. Sometimes it's a great experience, and the food and service is great, other times, like my last visit, it's just average. Our server had tables all over the restaurant, thus service was poor. We had to ask several other people for more water, salsa, etc. The food again, was OK. I had the scallop dinner and they were way overcooked. My date had the fajitas which were ok. Too bad because this place has great potential. The salsas are great, food has potential, service needs training. They also need a manager on the floor.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • nothing to write home about
    FoodieVIP
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    Came in for dinner and drinks. Seated right away although it was busy with large groups for graduation celebrations. Ordered the roasted tomato soup which was served not hot so I am not sure if this was an error or if it should be served hot. I would have preferred hot soup. Ordered a salad with chicken that was prepared table side. It was fair. Kind of tacky that the receipt came back with a long sheet of paper for a survey and online questionnaire. Tacky in my opinion for an upscale venue.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • GREAT EXPERIENCE
    FRANNIE
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    WE TRULY ENJOYED OUR EXPERIENCE AT EL TORITO GRILL. THE FOOD WAS VERY GOOD AND OUR WAITER WAS EXTREMELY INFORMATIVE AND PLEASANT TO US. IT WILL BE ONE OF OUR FAVORITES. WE ALSO LIKED THE FACT THAT THE MENU IS THE SAME FOR LUNCH AND DINNER. THANK YOU KINDLY.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service was excellent
    Lucky
    Dined on 6/8/2014
    I would recommend this to anyone, especially in a group setting.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not a lot on the menu
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    The food was ok but there was not a lot on the menu. Our waiter would vanish for 15 minutes and everyone else would become our waiter. The restaurant was not busy at all so who knows what he was doing. The food was warm, not hot as if it came right off the grill.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • lunchyVIP
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    we both had the special fehitas. All the meat was way overcooked and dry. Don't order these.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 30 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 25, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4
    • Ambiance4
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 83 reviews are from the El Torito Grill - Irvine reviews archive.
  • Not what it used to be...
    markVIP
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Service was really not very good. The food was "okay". The table-side guacamole was very good. The tortilla soup was very good. The salsa is very good. The homemade flour tortillas were a bit gummy. The enchiladas were not good - they took a corn tortilla, filled it, then rolled it and poured not-very-good sauce over it. As it was not baked, the tortilla was raw, and was not good. The taquitos were greasy and soggy. A taco was served on a flour tortilla - why? Plenty other better options.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wait time was horrible
    lovtoeat
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Although I had a reservation at 11 a.m., I wasn't seated until 11:25. I don't see the point of a reservation if you're not going to seat us on time. One more thing, our waiter was horrible. dirty plates just sat at our table & we didn't get refills until we hunted our waiter down. A bit disappointed, however the food was amazing.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Decent food, great for families.
    Rich
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    We made last minute reservations here because we had 6 family members come into town "out of the blue". El Torito Grill was happy to accommodate our large party of 12. They got us to our table very quickly and the waiter(s) that helped us were extremely attentive the entire time. I can't say the food was special, pretty much standard mexican sit-down fare, except for the freshly baked tortillas, which were both delicious and plentiful (the excellent waiters brought us fresh tortillas throughout the duration of the meal). The price was very reasonable too. Overall I would not hesitate to bring a big family with kids here again in the future. Just don't expect the food to be that amazing (except the tortillas! love those!)...
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Brunch not so special
    foodfriend
    Dined on 4/27/2014
    We went there to celebrate a birthday, to us it was not a celebration. Made reservation days ahead and were put in the very back by the door. We were forgotten by the service crew had many plates that we piled up on the back of our booth. The food was just satisfactory. The home made tortillas were not maintained very well, every time we went up to get more we always got the last one, the taco bar barely gave you any meat in your taco, and very few condiments for your tacos (no cheese..just cilantro and onions) We have had brunch at the old El Torito Grill in Fashion Island and always loved going there, this was no comparison.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Sunday brunch
    Mish
    Dined on 4/27/2014
    Made reservations in here...still had to wait. Service was SLOW. Food was COLD. Not a great experience. I have been to many el toritios and grills. This one was def not to go back to. I'd rather drive further to get better service and food
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hostess was incorrect
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    When we arrived at El Torito Grill on 4/20 at 11 I checked in with the hostess who could not find my name on her reservations list. I then said that's odd because received confirmation and she asked if it was via email. I said yes and she told me they do not send out reservation confirmations via email and my reservation must of been for the other el torito. I didn't continue checking my email for it like I should of and instead had to wait an hour for a table of 4 while parties of 7 who came after me were being seated. I called and spoke with the manager Chris about this and he said he would talk to her but didn't offer any discount or anything for my inconvenience.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Kid-Friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • GREAT Service!
    ScottGee
    Dined on 4/13/2014
    LOVE the home made tortillas, and the custom omelets are grand, as is the champagne.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Kid-Friendly, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very enjoyable experience
    TennisGirl
    Dined on 4/11/2014
    I've been going to El Torito Grill for a while. A good food, nice service. A few times I had Sunday branch there with friends. A very convinient location right in a middle of Irvine. I can highly recommend this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, notable wine list, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Poor Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    I made reservations on line, and even got a confirmation from you. However, when I got to the restaurant, there were no reservations received in my name. You did a very poor job in communicating with the restaurant that I spent the time and effort to make a reservation. They never got it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great service
    wjpugh
    Dined on 3/19/2014
    This restaurant has really great service. The staff did anything for you. I recommend this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always Enjoy El Torito Grill
    PleasantVIP
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    Service and food was excellent. Love those flour tortilla's.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dependable local Mexican restaurant
    LikeToEatOutVIP
    Dined on 2/26/2014
    We keep coming back because the restaurant consistently delivers its menu and provides good service. Easy option for us to grab good dinner. We were there on a Friday night this time, and the restaurant was packed. The noise level was very high, but our service and food remained the same - nice job! We will definitely be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Brunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 2/23/2014
    Great brunch, but wish they would have labeled the items. It was hard to know what you were eating.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lunch with the Ladies
    Boberan
    Dined on 2/20/2014
    Fabulous Margarita! Enjoyed the scallop ceviche. Chicken salad is diet friendly and delicious. Loved the dressing.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, kid-friendly, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • What's A Reservation Good For?
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    Why make a reservation when you wait another 25 mins for your table? This location is poorly managed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • only one thing wrong...
    Fajitaboy
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We were, unfortunately, seated next to a untensil collection area and had to listen to the guy CLANGING the silverware into a bucket a top volume for five minutes. Our server was good, though, when we asked her to tell him to knock it off. Other than that, great time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Flavorful, dependable Mexican
    LikeToEatOutVIP
    Dined on 2/1/2014
    We enjoy coming to this restaurant for a Mexican-themed meal. Service is always fast and attentive. Food is good quality.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Service suffered
    JosephVIP
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    We eat at El Torito Grill often and the service is usually great, but Saturday night the waiter's timing was way out. The hostess seated us nicely in a quiet table as requested. But then: drinks slow to come, guac at table ok, long wait to order, salads served quickly and main course served about 4 minutes into our salads...we almost sent them back. We watched and the waiter could not multitask...one thing at a time. Food was excellent - we'll be back and hope to get the short guy next time.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • lunch with friends
    jovali
    Dined on 1/23/2014
    Been to this location multiple times. Food is pretty much on point, but service varies. This visit service lacked. Two people in our party of four did not get what they ordered so we had to wait extra. Staff was friendly, but lacked attention to detail.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sunday Brunch
    ScottGee
    Dined on 1/19/2014
    Great custom made (while you watch) omelets, home made tortillas and champagne on the patio. Hard to beat the brunch buffet combination, along with these accompanyments.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great service. 5 stars!!!
    Steven67fr
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    The waitstaff was excellent. The quality of food was good. The menu was very differentiated from the non grill el torito locations.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quality food
    BBarnes
    Dined on 1/14/2014
    Love the fresh tortillas. It's not your typical Mexican food. High quality and extremely delicious. You can't miss with this place.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Meh
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 12/29/2013
    Had an average experience here. Host was nowhere to be found and when he did finally arrive answered the phone and kept us waiting. Think if the phone didn't ring we'd still be standing there. The tortillas were killer as usual but this time they were a little burnt. Carne Asada was very good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not the best
    Love2dineout
    Dined on 12/22/2013
    After making reservations we arrived and still had to wait for a table at least 10-15 minutes. They told us open table wasn't the same as calling in for a reservation. They said it just puts us in line for a table as if we had walked in and put our name on a list. It took an hours for us to receive our meal after we ordered it. Good food but not worth the wait.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Didn't see our server often
    storm2014
    Dined on 12/14/2013
    Didn't see our server often enough...we had to keep flagging him down if we needed something. When he served our food, he literally threw it on the table because he was in a big hurry and when he came around to collect the plates, he grabbed them and took them when people were still eating. We brought a birthday cake and one of the other servers grabbed the cake and started taking it away and there were 3 pieces left on the platter....nobody asked us if we wanted to take our leftovers to go....we felt like they were rushing us through so they could seat more people but nobody was waiting. All the servers were rushing.....I'm wondering if you were understaffed or is that the way it always is?
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I made this reservation a
    Lammas
    Dined on 11/29/2013
    I made this reservation a week in advance as we had a large party (12 people). When we arrived at the restaurant, they were not set up for us and did not have the reservation. I'm not sure what happened or how OPen Table works but I will not use this service again because of the above.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.