El Cholo Cafe

4
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809 Reviews
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$30 and under
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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.
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Private Dining

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What 809 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.0based on recent ratings
3.9
food
4.0
service
3.9
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
59% of people would recommend it to a friend
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PP
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We had a good time catching up with family.

g
Los Angeles
50 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall2food2service4ambience5

El Cholo used to be the standard of Mexican fare. It is beyond mediocre and large portions can’t replace taste. Maybe it is just pasadena but in my opinion, never again.

AW
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Food was okay. The fajitas were not especially great, but edible.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great margaritas, great food, ALWAYS a great time

PT
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2020
Overall2food1service5ambience2

the service provided by your staff was great, BUT food has changed, and not as good as before, and plus it was cold. ambiance needs updating, again it's the El Cholo that i knew, and needs to be up to par with it's surroundings.

not a great place to team gatherings.

OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great food and ambiance. We enjoy this location.

GO
Orange County
9 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My wife ate a combination, Cheese Enchilada and Chili Relleno, and I had a cup of Tortilla Soup and the Three Soft Tacos. Along with a Margarita and Dos Equis with lime. We both enjoyed our meals, the service and atmosphere.

OT
Cleveland
4 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

One of our meals came out after all the rest of us had finished eating
Not acceptable

PD
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience3

I have enjoyed this restaurant before, but on Christmas Eve, even though it wasn’t very busy at all, the service and food were lacking considerably. It took quite a while to get waited on and for our food to come out. Everyone’s meal was lukewarm. In fact, my enchilada Suizas had a skim coat on the sauce from sitting so long. Finally, I was surprised that my meal was so small for the value. I don’t believe I’ve ever been served one small (5” or so) enchilada with rice and beans before, especially when paying $18. The Paseo Colorado has lots of food options nearby, and we left wishing we’d opted for something else.

OT
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall1food3service1ambience3

Terrible service unfortunately. Slow and several mistakes

LP
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A wonderful place to meet seven of our friends for a tremendous meal as well as great service -- many thanks to all.

R
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall1food3service1ambience4

Terrible service

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ND
San Francisco
36 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience2

Far too noisy and the food is of average quality for a high price. We will not return

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 10, 2019
Overall2food3service2ambience3

The food was adequate but the service was terribly slow, we sat with empty beverages with no server in sight for long periods of time. The restaurant seemed under staffed even though it was not that busy at noon on a Tuesday.

BA
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience5

Alcoholic drinks were nothing spectacular as was the food....something gave me a 5 hour headache! Will not be going back!

LI
London
21 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Family and friends getogether on Thanksgiving. Most enjoyed Mexican dishes, but the traditional turkey meal was outstanding.

OT
Los Angeles
16 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2019
Overall5food3service5ambience5

Birthday dinner

F
Los Angeles
14 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

A great place to go for dinner before catching a movie at Arclight Theater. Food, drinks and service are always consistently good.

b
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome food, great recommendations, bilingual and tasty margaritas!

TO
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall2food1service5ambience2

Dated interior, average cuisine, but cordial and proficient waited staff.

GW
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall1food1service2ambience3

My food tasted like cat food. Yes, I have eaten cat food as part of my fraternity initiation.

DM
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely great service great food very attentive daughter‘s 21st birthday lunch she loved it that’s all I needed to hear Mucho‘s Gracias !

e
Orange County
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was delicious I recommend. Everyone to try out this restaurant EL Cholo is the best

FG
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious table side-crafted guacamole, perfect accompaniment to our traditional micheladas made with Dos Equis Amber. The setting is festive and lively. And the service is very attentive. My partner enjoyed his seafood enchiladas, and I enjoyed my Santa Barbara enchiladas. The chef cooks the most delicious and homey tasting refried beans, as they were not completely mashed. We enjoyed the rice with chunks of mild chile too. The rice was very tender, not at all grainy or hard. We’d love to return here for a meal on another occasion!

OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience4

La comida no fue lo que esperábamos, la carne tenia mal sabor (descompuesto) no pude digerirlo así que me cambiaron el plato por unas enchiladas, como nos sentamos en la parte de afuera los meseros se olvidaron de nosotras, el lugar esta en un buen punto en el corazón de Pasadena desde el balcón puedes ver la calle principal “Colorado”

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience3

The food was not that great. I picked this place for our family dinner and no one enjoyed their food or beverages. We all joked that we should have left after the chips and salsa.

GM
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall2food2service5ambience1

I've always loved El Cholo but this last visit in Pasadena was awful. The lights were blazing. The food prices had doubled. I had an Enchilada Suisa that used to have 2 enchiladas with chicken in them. What I got this time was 1 enchilada and I couldn't find a piece of chicken to save my life. All this for $18. I was hungry when I got home. Unbelievable. I will never go to this location again.

OT
Las Vegas
14 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

An excellent birthday venue

OT
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great people with great service and tasty authentic Mexican food. 10/10 for me boss.

P
Los Angeles
85 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Terrific Chili Verde for lunch meeting. Quiet. Great service. Easy parking.

ST
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service was great! Love this place! Make sure you try the carne asada...tender and delicious

V
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

The server neglected to bring some of the food we ordered, twice.

S
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall2food1service3ambience3

Food was awful. Almost didn’t seem like Mexican food. Service was slow.

DR
Los Angeles
38 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Skinny Margarita and arrived during $15 Enchilada week - so my Shrimp and Lobster Enchilada plate was not $21 - but $15. With the additional savings I treated us to a second round of Skinny Margaritas.

HL
Charlotte
14 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience4

Overpriced for average food. Drinks were good though....

c
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great and Magnificent

M
Los Angeles
17 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always excellent food and service. Best margaritas anywhere.

l
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall4food4service2ambience4

Service was extremely slow yesterday!!! It's not usually like this but we were sitting on the Colorado Patio and it was painfully slow and too hot! They need 2 or 3 ceiling fans out there-it would definitely make a difference.

OT
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very good food, in a fun part of Town.

d
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Very mediocre. Pricey and forgettable...a bad combination. Will not return.

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