El Adobe de Capistrano

4.7
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99 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican

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Casual
Enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine in a historic setting at El Adobe de Capistrano. This landmark features a wedding chapel, stained-glass windows and additional beautiful architectural details. Its kitchen has a mesquite-burning grill where chefs prepare deliciously flavored seafood and steak dishes. Soups, salads and appetizers are also on the menu, including tasty desserts.Owners Tony Moiso and Gilbert Aguirre have kept the atmosphere and traditions of the El Adobe de Capistrano going. This establishment still prepares the dishes that President Nixon and his wife enjoyed while visiting during his administration. It has a full bar that serves various drinks, a lounge area for socializing and a patio in the front. El Adobe de Capistrano offers private rooms for banquets and other events. The Palenque features a retracting roof, making it ideal for hosting an event under the night sky. It offers brunch and has a Happy Hour.
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What 99 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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LG
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, food was delicious
They offer a variety of unique choices.i had an enchilada salad.it was devine! Lots of room to accommodate large parties. Very lively atmosphere!

T
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We were there unplanned for Sunday brunch. The menu is quite different and more limited for brunch but still quite good. Live music was not to my taste, though it was tastefully done.

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded 4 days ago

Thank you for your review. We are glad you enjoyed the food for our Sunday brunch. We have mariachi every Sunday from 12-2pm. We understand that it is not everyone's preference of music but it adds to the ambiance of our restaurant for the guests who do enjoy it. We do open at 10 am on Sunday's if you would like to join us before they arrive.

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MM
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

My vegetable enchilada combo was so salty as to be almost inedible. I've enjoyed delicious meals here before, but may consider other restaurants in the future as too much sodium is contraindicated for my health condition. Also, when I arrived and checked in with the host for our party of three, he had us as a party of four, saying so now it's just three--twice. I also indicated this was our anniversary as you had that option in the reservation process. No mention of this by any staff member.

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded 4 days ago

Thank you for your feedback. Had we known that your meal was too salty we would've remedied the situation while you were here. Service is very important to this restaurant so we will be looking into the hostess situation. We apologize for not noticing the extra indicator of it being your anniversary. We will be paying more attention to the add-ons that open table gives.

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s
Orange County
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Service was a tad slow but otherwise very good and will go back

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on September 5, 2019

Thank you for your feedback. We strive for great food and service so if there are any specific details you would like to share please feel free to contact us and let us know. We are glad you enjoyed the food and look forward to seeing you again!

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

5 year wedding anniversary

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on September 5, 2019

Thank you for your review and congragulations on your wedding anniversary! We are glad you enjoyed the service, but we are always trying to improve as a restaurant, so if there are any details on the food please feel free to contact us and let us know.

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OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice place, great food and service, and fantastic live harp music every Saturday evening!

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on September 5, 2019

Thank you for your review! We are excited to hear that you enjoyed your time at El Adobe. We will make sure to pass the message on to the harpist! We hope to see you again soon.

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M
Orange County
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great history and quality of food. Appreciated the ambiance of the place and our server was wonderful

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on September 5, 2019

Thank you for your review! El Adobe's goal is to make sure every guest has a great experience and we are glad to hear that we have accomplished that. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

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FL
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Drinks and Food were awesome great service made it a perfect dinner for our 22nd wedding anniversary

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on September 5, 2019

Thank you for your review! Congratulations on your anniversary! We are excited to hear that you enjoyed your experience as that is our goal as a restaurant. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

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JD
Orange County
16 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

You can always count on very good service and food at El Adobe....an OC Classic with a great history and management team. It keeps us coming back for more!

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on August 31, 2019

Thank you for the kind review. We are so excited to hear that you enjoy every experience you have at El Adobe. We love knowing that we have accomplished our goals as a restaurant. We hope to see you again soon!

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GR
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Very good food and attentive service. We will be back!

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on August 31, 2019

Thank you for the review! We are glad you enjoyed the food and service. That is our goal as a restaurant! We hope to see you again soon.

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CL
1 review
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

It was delicious food and great service. Haven’t been there for a few years. I think prices have increased a bit since I was there

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on August 25, 2019

Thank you for your feedback! We are glad you enjoyed you experience. Our prices have gone up due to changes in better products for our meals. We hope to see you again soon!

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JH
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our food was outstanding. Fish tacos, lobster tacos and carbs asada. Table side guacamole. Great service. Great Cadillac margaritas. Overall, ten out of ten.

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on August 20, 2019

Thank you for the kind review! The tacos are a very big hit here at El Adobe and we are glad to hear you enjoyed them. We strive for great service and food so we appreciate the review letting us know that we have achieved our goal as a restaurant! We look forward to seeing you again soon.

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OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this restaurant. My fav meal to get is the cheese enchilada salad. Truly a vegetarian treat! Ask for the charro beans since those are the vegetarian ones!

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on August 18, 2019

Thank you for your feedback! We are glad you enjoyed your experience and that we achieved our goal as a restaurant to have great service and food! We hope to see you again soon.

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OT
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great chips and salsa!

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on August 17, 2019

Thank you for your feedback! We are glad you enjoyed your experience and that we achieved our goal as a restaurant to have great service and food! We hope to see you again soon.

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k
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food! Wonderful service! Best Mexican in SoCal!!

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on August 6, 2019

Thank you for your review Kristin! We are so glad you enjoy our restaurant as that is what we strive for! We look forward to seeing you again.

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GT
Los Angeles
164 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a birthday and I told them that and perhaps they should’ve brought a little birthday dessert for my mother. But aside from that the food and the service was excellent. As well as the little tour of the old jail downstairs.

LW
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We drove from Oceanside in Sunday traffic because the food, the service, and the ambience is that good. We were not disappointed!

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on August 6, 2019

Thank you for your review Linda! We are so excited to hear that you enjoy the restaurant and travel to come eat here. We hope to see you again soon!

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OT
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

This place is super dated. The food is okay and the service is at best average.

BK
Oklahoma City
7 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 5

The atmosphere was very nice in historic setting. The food and the service was good. Would recommend to guests in San Juan Capistrano.

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on July 27, 2019

Thank you for the feedback! We are glad you enjoyed your experience and look forward to seeing you again.

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JT
1 review
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service were excellent!
Reservation seating right on time!

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on July 20, 2019

Thank you for your feedback. We are glad you enjoyed the food and service as those are top priorities for El Adobe. We look forward to seeing you again.

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CF
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The ambiance and service were great. We would definitely go back again.

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on July 20, 2019

Thank you for your feedback. We are glad you enjoyed your experience because its really what we strive for as a restaurant. We look forward to seeing you again!

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T
San Diego
51 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

A hidden gem. Ask Fernando for the full tour, which includes the Nixon table, a jail (table not in jail), and much more than you'd expect beyond the humble front door. Food was a little better than average Mexican, many favorites to be found on the menu. A great place to refuel after a tour of the mission.

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on July 14, 2019

Thank you for your feedback. We are glad you enjoy the deep history that El Adobe is known for. The message will be passed on to Fernando and we hope to see you again soon!

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RT
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

Our server did not even ask us for additional drinks (we would have gotten them!) and not even about dessert, but proceeded to bring my wife a B/mini cake with candle. Poor judgement indeed (and we are kind and considerate people, willing to close an eye on people's mistakes. Such a behavior may be acceptable at a cheap eatery 'around the corner' but not at a restaurant of your caliber. Make sure you let them know. We travel the world for business and notice the difference. We'll be back at the El Adobe, of course, but will be mindful of this experience...next time around.
Thank you for asking about our experience.
Roberto and Lynn Torrini
28 Oxbow Creek Lane
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on July 14, 2019

We appreciate the time taken to write a review. The situation will be looked into as customer service is a top priority in our restaurant. We are glad you enjoyed the food and look forward to seeing you again.

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LA
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious and the service was great! We love El Adobe.

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on July 14, 2019

Thank you for your feedback. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed everything as that is what we strive for as a restaurant! We look forward to seeing you again.

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KA
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We went for a birthday dinner. Fish tacos were very good. Restaurant is a fun place to go.

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on July 7, 2019

Thank you for your feedback. We are glad you enjoyed the birthday dinner and fish tacos. We look forward to seeing you again!

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TL
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We were a group of 9 on a Saturday night with reservations. The evening couldn't have gone better. Our server, Oscar, was always at the right spot at the right time. The drinks and food were delicious! Always a great time at El Adobe de Capistrano!

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on July 6, 2019

Thank you for the review Tom! We appreciate the time taken to write a great review. We will make sure to pass it on to Oscar. We look forward to seeing you guys again!

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RV
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fast and friendly service. Food is prepared well. Service is top notch. Presentation of food dishes were excellent. Food was service hit and not over or under cooked. We would recommend to our family and friends.

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on July 6, 2019

Thank you for your review Richard. We are glad to hear these kind words. This is what we strive for as a restaurant. We look forward to seeing you again!

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W
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Kid-friendly at lunch.

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on July 6, 2019

Thank you for your feedback and we look forward to seeing you again!

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SC
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of our favorite Mexican restaurants. We love the charming vintage building and grounds, always excellent service and great food. Get the Molcajete.

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on June 28, 2019

We are glad to hear you enjoyed your experience. We appreciate the time taken to write this review and we look forward to seeing you again!

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RA
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food excellent atmosphere. Awesome place to celebrate a birthday. The staff makes it very memorable. Thank you all.

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on June 28, 2019

Thank you for your feedback. We are happy to hear that you had a great experience. This is what we strive for as a restaurant and we look forward to seeing you again!

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CH
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love everything about this restaurant!! The food, service, ambiance... love! And kid friendly.

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on June 28, 2019

Thank you for writing this review. This is what we strive for as a restaurant so we appreciate the time taken to let us know. We look forward to seeing you again.

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JD
Orange County
16 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this special place....always a great experience and good food!

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on July 6, 2019

Thank you for the feedback! We are glad you enjoyed your experience here and we look forward to seeing you again.

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OT
Salt Lake City
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Service slow. 2 Dirty water glasses. Loud. Food mediocre.

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on July 6, 2019

Thank you for your feedback. We strive for great service, clean glass ware and good food. We are always trying to grow from the feedback given so it will be addressed.

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V
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a family dinner at this restaurant for our anniversary. The food and service was great. The margaritas were fantastic. We can't wait to go back!

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on July 6, 2019

Thank you for your kind review! Congratulations on your anniversary. We would love to continue celebrating that special day with you.

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TF
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

First time going and very nice place. Small parking lot. Food was very authentic. A little pricey but food was great. They had live music which we enjoyed very much.

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on July 6, 2019

Thank you for your feedback Tim. We are glad you enjoyed your experience. Prices have gone up in the past year due to product changes so we are glad you thought the food was great! We look forward to seeing you again.

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OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

We were very disappointed in our lunch at El Adobe Restaurant. The food wasn't good. The chicken taco had a strange taste; chili rellano was just OK; the pork tamale was a let-down; the rice was OK, but bland; the refried beans were OK (but we weren't asked if we wanted "charro beans" instead). Others had the El Adobe burrito which was just fair to middling. We ordered Nachos as an appetizer, but they were AWFUL. How does a Mexican restaurant screw up Nachos? Even the tortilla chips were terrible! The peach margaritas and mango margaritas weren't tasty either. I had made a reservation online, but the host wanted to know how many in our party, which had to be there on the screen. We were seated and had a very friendly server who was very attentive. A few minutes later, very loud music blared from the speaker behind us. It was deafening! Thankfully, our waiter turned it down upon our request. Our server noticed that a gift was brought for my husband's birthday so he mentioned it. He asked my husband if he wanted the staff to sing happy birthday to him. My husband said "no" as we were celebrating several weeks after his birthday, and he really didn't want that. Lo and behold, after we finished our meal, all the servers came to sing a very loud happy birthday to him anyway, complete with the sombrero for his head. The free birthday dessert was a dish of vanilla ice cream with whipped cream. Seriously?? So I leave the "best" for last: We were getting ready to order real dessert and were asked if they could MOVE US to a different table because they had a party coming in who was supposed to sit in the area where we were seated. W-h-a-t??? One of the staff told us they would pay for our dessert if we moved. Since we weren't done and wanted to be nice, we were moved down to the very lowest level in the restaurant. THAT WAS A FIRST! Needless to say, we won't be back for below par food that was expensive and the weird inconvenience of being MOVED!!

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on July 6, 2019

Thank you for your feedback. The birthday singing has been looked into and it seems to have been a miscommunication. As for the food, we wish it had been addressed to the manager so that we could've remedied the situation.

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JD
Orange County
16 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food and service as always at El Adobe....we always enjoy this restaurant.

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on June 28, 2019

We appreciate you taking the time to write this review! This is what we strive for as a restaurant. We look forward to seeing you again.

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OT
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

We met family who were visiting from out of state. The hostess didn’t seem happy when saw her. She looked overworked and never once smiled. We were placed in the room downstairs to the left. Being tucked away, it seemed like our server forgot about us. We needed drink refills but didn’t get them until after our meal. Then we waited and waited for our check to arrive. The food seemed okay but I do not think it was really worth the price. $12 for three empanadas? Most sit down restaurants charge half that price. I’m not sure if we’ll return anytime soon. The family didn’t seem impressed with the restaurant.

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on June 28, 2019

Thank you for your feedback. We strive for great customer service so we will look into the hostess situation as well as servers who work in that area. We are always trying to improve as a restaurant so thanks again for taking the time to write this review.

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SP
San Diego
11 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great food in a wonderful setting. Food and venue felt very homely. Service was outstanding. Would definitely go again.

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on May 24, 2019

Thank you for your feedback. We are glad you enjoyed your experience because its really what we want as a restaurant. We look forward to seeing you again!

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JA
Yosemite
1 review
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

great service, great food, great ambience. I would go back again for sure.

El Adobe de Capistrano
Responded on May 22, 2019

Thank you for your feedback. We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed your experience and thank you for the kind words. We look forward to seeing you again!

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