El Cholo Cafe

4.2
854 Reviews
$30 and under
Mexican
It all started back in 1923 in a small storefront in downtown Los Angeles. 95 years later and 5 generations later El Cholo has become synonymous with Mexican food all over Southern California.

Our Pasadena venue opened in 2000 and is at the Paseo Mall within walking distance of the Civic Auditorium and Convention Center, overlooking Colorado Blvd.
The menu consists of classics dating back to the original menu along with an array of more modern dishes showcasing the different regions of Mexico.

Four private rooms that can accommodate parties from 40-100 that allows our valued guest a memorable experience no matter the occasion.

Most famously known for our Margaritas and a menu featuring over 150 Tequilas. Both of our bars offer a comfortable environment allowing our guest to relax enjoy their experience.
What 854 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.0
food
4.4
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
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TL
TinaL
Orange County
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall3food2service3ambience3

Food overly priced for the quality and quantity of it. We ordered chicken tortilla soup and looked like a few strands of chicken in broth only. We immediately asked the waitress for another item as we were very disappointed in the soup. Also ordered beef fajitas and was provided with a lot more veggies than the actual beef! Another disappointment. We will probably not go back in the near future.

GS
GloriaS
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2021
Overall2food1service1ambience3

The food was lackluster. Beans were flavorless, meat was unseasoned and, in my case (fillet mignon tacos), overcooked. Bus service was good, wait service poor. We were seated outside and the server was MIA during most of our time there. The flan desert was good.

DH
DonH
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really good food and service on a busy Friday night!

l
lickinggood
Los Angeles
16 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Paid parking and access to the restaurant was excellent. I have been dining at an El Cholo restaurant in the LA area for over 50 years and with time the quality of the food has become poor. My wife’s tostada order was never made and after reminding the staff 2/3 of the way through my meal they hastily put together a pile of lettuce from a precut bag of produce mixed together some chorizo and placed that on top of a tortilla and a spread of beans. It tasted terrible and my wife did not eat it. My three tacos were average. The worst being the steak taco which was dry, tough and not chewable. I left it on my plate. The nachos were ok but they were served at the same time as my dinner. I thought it was an appetizer? There are hundreds of Mexican restaurants to chose from in SoCal. So really think about going here.

t
tnlayne
Las Vegas
10 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

they moved from a great facility that was out of the way yet worth the extra effort to get to. enjoyed the meal but really missed the ambiance of the space on Fair Oaks

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and staff were excellent

KH
vipKimberlyH
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service, great food!

j
julese
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience5

Food was good however, service is extremely slow. Other locations are better.

AM
AMarrero
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Everything was good. Margaritas were delicious. Service was good.

PO
PamelaO
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, patio seating is wonderful, service is top notch...margaritas are prefect. Love this place!!!

H
Happyflowers
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Food was fantastic! Both the server and the assistant were very friendly. The assistant took our drink order and did make a mistake in one of the drinks. However, we received the correct drink, it took more than 10 minutes to get it. The server took our order after waiting for her for 15 minutes. The service is very slow. I believe it's because the restaurant is short on staff. We arrived at the time the restaurant was open and only three tables were occupied. After waiting for 15 minutes, when the server took our order, there were several more tables occupied. The restaurant was getting busy. A suggestion to the restaurant, try to have enough staff for your clients even though we all understand all restaurants are experiencing the same issue. I felt sorry for the server and assistant who were working non-stop catering to all their clients. The delay was not their fault. If the shortage of staff continues, the service will definitely not be good.

J
vipJohndred
Los Angeles
25 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience4

A little off; food was ok but expensive.. service was lackluster, rushed. Place was totally empty on a Sunday night? Strange.

P
Patrick
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome spot! Great service, food and vibes.
Highly recommended!

BJ
BigJ
Las Vegas
5 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

El Cholo exceeded our expectations! The food was delicious, especially the tableside guacamole, shrimp tacos and steak fajitas. Our server took care of a party of 16, and performed very well. We were happy to take the leftovers to enjoy at home.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2021
Overall1food1service5ambience2

The food was not good at All

C
vipCalmariner
Los Angeles
14 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Variety of choices on the menu; everything we ordered was superbly prepared. Our waitress was terrific, and kept an eye on our table for anything we needed. Patio seating, outback on the Paseo, was delightful. We loved it.

LL
vipLLLL
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious Mexican food and relaxing outdoor atmosphere. Portions were generous. We thoroughly enjoyed it

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food quick service thank you

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2021
Overall2food4service1ambience4

I never give a bad review. But I have to be honest here. The serve was very slow. Food was good.

SH
SheilaH
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My experience was really good. Good patio seating, good food and perfect service.

BW
BellaWong
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Right from the actual day of our event, El Cholo Cafe's staff was super eager to be of service. I was given the option to chose our seating selection, & was introduced to our very helpful & friendly server right away. Our entire dining experience was truly outstanding! We felt welcomed & were treated like family. We will most definitely be back to El Cholo Café again.

JT
JeanneT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2021
Overall2food3service2ambience2

We made Father’s Day dinner reservations for indoor dining and was not ready. They offered outdoor dining and seated us in the shaded part. However as dinner progressed so did the sunset in our eyes and food. Not so good for my 90 years old parents. The waiter was friendly and took our orders. However he did not write down our orders and asked us again and did not get it right the second time! Took awhile for the food to come and one order did not arrive (yes that’s the one the waiter kept forgetting!) with rest of food. We ordered fresh avocado dip and wanted my parents to see and feel the culture. However since the waiter did write this down, we did not get this served to us. It was a hassle to keep reminding the staff. I loved going to the original El Cholo on Western Avenue. The ambiance and food was the best! Hence why I was so excited that a second one was in my neighborhood. Unfortunately, the dinner today I was disappointed and will probably not return to this location. It’s seems like the upkeep and services is not up to par.

DC
DanielC
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2021
Overall4food3service3ambience4

Had a reservation and was promptly seated and server introduced and took care of us.

CC
ClarkC
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love El Cholo, in L.A. and in Pasadena. Consistently good food and great ambience and service was great. Always a pleasure to dine there.

AA
AimeeA
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service - good food!

S
vipSactofoodie
Sacramento
13 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A delightful meal. I had green chili corn tamales - the best I’ve ever had. The refried beans and rice were also very good. My husband had a Chile Relleno and a cheese enchilada that was enrobed in a smoky red sauce - delicious. My house Margarita was very good as was the flan which was served with chocolate syrup and sliced strawberries on the plate. Our server Yolanda was very friendly and conscientious. The female servers all wear traditional Mexican embroidered blouses and long skirts, and flowers in their hair - very beautiful. The ambiance of the restaurant is also lovely.

DR
vipDoriR
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The service at El Cholo was the best we’ve ever had there.
We had steak fajitas and guacamole both were yummy

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always we enjoyed our meal. The taste of history is a huge plate but you get to try the menu. Make sure you get the green Chile tamale.

DD
DavidD
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Went got moms birthday and the steak fajitas were a Hit!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience3

Food was over salted and service was slow despite the fact there was hardly anyone there. Food didn’t even come with guac and it said on the menu “side of guacamole”

2
vip2regulars
Los Angeles
74 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall3food3service5ambience4

Enjoyed our meal, but forgot to order the tamales, maybe next time

r
rhondaf
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went for lunch on a Saturday afternoon and it was nice and quiet. The food was delicious.

MB
vipMikeB
New England
112 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So glad that El Cholo in Paseo is opened again.

Great house and Cadillac margaritas set the stage.

Guacamole was fresh and outstanding.

Big burrito and fajitas were cooked to perfection.

No dessert on this trip…too filled.

Great service! Professional and friendly staff.

Now is the time to get to El Cholo.

M
vipMimi
Boise
17 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience2

Requested inside but had to sit outside. A bit too loud and was busy so service was a bit slow. Food was excellent though!

PG
PatnGlo
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Celebrated Mother’s Day and all was perfect! Thank you for your amazing staff!

RC
vipRachelC
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Mother’s Day brunch

J
Jenn
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience3

Horrible service on Mother’s Day. I understand it’s a busy day but very rude servers (with the exception of the man who dropped off the food) without a single smile or thank you. We also felt rushed as they tried clearing the plates before we were finished. Food was okay but definitely won’t go back because of the service.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Orange County
48 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our family shared several plates of food, and everything was delicious. My favorite dish was the enchiladas Suiza. The patio is large and quiet, and the service was excellent.

SH
SuzanneH
2 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The food and service was great. We were seated immediately and given chips (hot!) and excellent salsa quickly.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience3

We went to El Cholo for a special occasion and noted info in the reservation, yet the restaurant did not acknowledge or mention the reason we were their in the first place. Tacky for their ignorance.

FAQs

El Cholo Cafe offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (626) 795-5800.

El Cholo Cafe is rated 4.2 stars by 854 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

Tweets by El Cholo Cafe