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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM

El Criollo

3.8
39 reviews
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$30 and under
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Cuban
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Lunch
  • Good for Groups
El Criollo has established itself as a freshly modern, yet still traditional full-service restaurant in the bustling downtown Van Nuys area. We of El Criollo are driven by the genuine aim to provide excellent, personable service complemented by the finest, most flavorful Cuban cuisine.

El Criollo's interior includes classic exposed brick walls, a high open ceiling, beautifully soft serenading Cuban music and poster-size images of vintage magazine covers and print ads. The restaurant offers deliciously delectable food with an updated, though still very classic look and feel – so much like a bodega in Old Havana. Our spacious dining room seats 60-plus with a bar offering fabulous wine, beer and cocktails.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Cuban
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Hours of operation

Lunch: Tuesday - Friday: 11:30AM - 4:00PM. Saturday - Sunday: 12:00PM - 4:00PM.
Dinner: Tuesday - Wednesday, Sunday: 4:00PM - 8:00PM. Thursday - Saturday: 4:00PM - 9:00PM.
Closed: Monday.
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Phone number
(818) 785-8625
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Payment options
Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Niurca Sera
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Private party facilities
We offer the restaurant for private events and gatherings.
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Private party contact
Albert Sera: (818) 785-8625
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Catering
El Criollo offers catering for all types of occasions. Whether your hosting a small gathering or a large event, we can accommodate you.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Kittridge St.
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Parking details
There is a private lot behind the restaurant that is accessible via an alley that can be entered from Kittridge St. or Vanowen St. Parking is allowed on the restaurant and dental office sides.
Additional
Beer, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Takeout, Wheelchair Access
What 39 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.8  based on all time ratings
4.0
food
3.9
service
3.3
ambience
4.6
value
Noise · Moderate
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
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OpenTable Diner (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined 6 days ago

We have been coming to El Criollo for many years and the foo and service is always great. My wife, kids and I very much like coming over.

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vipOpenTable Diner (Los Angeles)
3.0  Dined on August 17, 2017

Great homemade Cuban specialties cooked with love and care.

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vipOpenTable Diner (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on June 3, 2017

El Criollo had fantastic Cuban food! The shrimp in garlic was amazing as was the Ropa Vieja.

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OpenTable Diner (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined on September 3, 2016

Good selection of food. Very tasty.

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Ticky777666 (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined on August 24, 2016

Seems everytime i come here there is a different server. This time it was a guy. Very handsome and made a very good sangria for me. Carlitos, who works in the kitchen, was very friendly and sat down and talked with us a bit.

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vipJules (Phoenix)
3.0  Dined on May 7, 2016

This place was good, but there wasn't anything that we would go back for. The best thing we had was the yuca in garlic.

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OpenTable Diner (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined on January 30, 2016

Service was fantastic. The Ox tail was very tasty.

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OpenTable Diner (Los Angeles)
3.0  Dined on August 20, 2015

To start off, the restaurant was too hot. The air conditioning was either broken or set too high. There were no diners in the restaurant when we arrived and only one server. We ordered drinks and they had little to no ice. The appetitizers were good. The entrees were hit or miss. My fish looked and tasted like it was from Costco. The pork dishes were dry. Sides were good. To top it off, the server added 18% to the bill for our party of 7. It was not an 18% tip meal. Overall: Average at best. Probably will not return.

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Esklos (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on July 29, 2015

I enjoyed a delicious lunch that compared favorably to the many great meals I had in Cuba last year.

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1966 (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on June 12, 2015

This was the first time eating at El Criollo and I would highly recommend this to everyone. The menu is extensive with traditional Cuban flavors featured. Our server recommend a few of her favorites and we were very impressed. She also made one tasty mojito!

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