El Jardin Cantina

3.9
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701 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican

Top Tags:

Casual
Fun
Bienvenido a El Jardín Cantina! We welcome you to fiesta with us and experience down-home Mexican hospitality at its best. Savor our sizzling platefuls of goodness made with thoughtfully sourced ingredients, created by Rise & Shine’s collection of culinary talent, who have a real knack for presenting authentic flavors. Our cost-conscious menu includes classics such as Camarones a la Diabla and our amazing Tacos a la carta selection and along with tasty selections of wine and cerveza, our bar churns out some of the best signature margaritas in town. Let your mind unwind with our Coco Loco Margarita made with Tequila blanco.
Enjoy the festive surroundings we’ve designed to get your fiesta started!
We’re true to our name, with garden-inspired décor. Our style is clean, yet cozy - reflecting our welcoming, unpretentious vibe.
Open for our epic Happy Hour, dinner and weekend brunch, El Jardín Cantina is everyone’s favorite casual “Mex-ilicious” destination!
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What 701 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.9based on recent ratings
3.9
food
3.7
service
4.2
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
71% of people would recommend it to a friend
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PP
San Diego
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food4service1ambience3

Food was good but we experienced really bad customer service. The waitress took a long time to get our orders (or acknowledged our table) and when she finally came to our table she asked if we were ready to order food (we had not order any drinks). We order the bottle of bubbly and orange juice; she brought the bottle, orange juice with wine glasses (whatever but not what you expect from a restaurant), and didn’t open or pour our drinks, instead, left the closed bottle on the table. The only vegan option was not available, glad they were able to prepare something for my friend, but as we were eating the waitress brought are check (not even close to finishing our meals). And the check had the vegan item listed twice, charging us $15 more. Glad I noticed and asked to fix the amount, surprisingly the waitress didn’t even apologized for the mistake (or at this point, maybe it wasn’t surprising at all).
Again, food was good, unfortunately we wouldn’t go back again.

l
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall1food1service3ambience1

What happened to chef
Food was so bad, cold
Like taco bell, but worse

OT
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall4food3service3ambience5

Everyone was nice but the food arrived cold

RH
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall1food1service2ambience5

Food was disappointing, service was ok, setting beautiful, we had a reservation and didn’t get seated until an hour after our reservation. Seemed that they were greatly understaffed

OT
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience3

The food and service were equally awful. We were giving them a second chance after a disappointing first experience at Mother’s Day. The second experience was worse than the first. Will be surprised if this restaurant continues much longer.

AC
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Guac? Yes please. Three different way. Ceviche? Ok, I’ll take two! Then went with carne Adams plate for dinner. Wish ordered more taco a la carte to try a few other things. Margs were great as well. Imagine summer is a lot better as it is warmer and do not need the heaters. Will be back

JR
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall3food1service2ambience5

Food needed flavor, the ceviche barely had any taste ! The server was really around she would bring everything super last min. That salsas were delicious that would probably be the only thing i go back for or and nachos those were good too. But overall i don’t think I’d be going there that often ! Beautiful place but Mexican food has lots of flavors and filled with some yummy spices and the food we had that night needed some love !

MH
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Came near the end of happy hour which is very budget friendly.
Some hits and some misses.
Really enjoyed the ceviche and guac off the HH menu.
Also liked the pulpo from the dinner menu.
The lamb barbacoa was extremely disappointing. The flavor was spot on but it was extremely toothsome. Need to braise a much longer. With the server recommending this dish even more disappointing.
The Sinaloa Aquachile lacked balance. All heat, nothing else.
Assuming with Chef Claudia leaving the restaurant has had a decline in quality and execution.
Would recommend for happy hour prices but don't recommend for dinner.

HM
London
2 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall2food4service1ambience2

Terrible service. Water never refilled. Ordered items that never came out. Had to flag servers down to order additional drinks that never materialized. Had to take card up to pay because after 30 minutes they never came by to pick up check. It was not crowded— there’s no excuse for service that bad.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Valentine’s Day was a beautiful experience at El Jardin. We will definitely be coming back.

T
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great ambiance.
Authentic cuisine.
Amazing value.
And there was no issue with us having our kids there either.

OT
Seattle
14 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience2

Good solid Mexican food. The guacamole was great. Salsa was fresh. The main dishes were super flavorful.

However. The services was not good and the restaurant just felt loose. The young man who busses the tables was super helpful how we the wait staff seemed overwhelmed and slow.

TD
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Loved the house margarita. Not too sweet. Salsas were great. We ordered the traditional guacamole and it was great. Had carnitas which was also very flavorful. Everyone enjoyed their food and drinks. I will go back again.

l
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall1food2service1ambience3

Our server was horrible. She would hand us our hot plates to our hands not place them on the table. She completely forgot our tortilla soup. As soon as we got the food delivered, she said she would be back with 3 different salsas and tortillas and never came back with anything. She kept rambling how she got back from Brazil and was having a hard time adjusting to being back. She was definitely on vacation mode not work. we were indoors to avoid the cold outside and it was colder inside the restaurant. We kept asking them to close the door because we kept getting a cold breeze. It was uncomfortable.

J
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience3

Did not live up to the Instagram hype. Everything was overcooked and service was just ok.

MC
Nashville
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience4

The food was good, nothing outstanding, average overall. The service was not great.. loved the atmosphere. Glad I tried it but probably won't go back.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience2

disorganized staff from the host to the waiters. Pay for salsa that tastes store bought. Guacamole was flavorless. Out of everything at 8:30pm - no sea bass and I heard them mentioning certain ceviches and aguaChiles were not avail to others, burned taco shells, flavorless meat (except birria was okay), flavorless watery drinks, tough lamb shank, and seemingly white rice with the beans. Terribly disappointed!

F
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lamb shank was delicious. Chicken mole was great.
Tacos were very flavorful. Service was great.

ZC
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

It was a really fun night with great service. Everything we ordered can out quickly! We enjoyed the atmosphere of the place and will be back!

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Love the atmosphere of this restaurant but the service was pretty bad and the food was mediocre. Probably won’t be going back.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on January 21, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Drinks were absolutely fantastic but food was only okay. Was a great value at happy hour, so I thought it was still worth the money

JI
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Ok place but limited menu and average food

K
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The best meal I had while in San Diego. Everything felt like it was prepared with the love and care straight from a purely Mexican kitchen. You can tell all the ingredients are made from scratch. Presentation was beautiful, service was exceptional, and the decor gives El Jardin the feeling that you're on a patio in your neighbors backyard.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Enjoyed the evening dinner

TE
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall3food1service5ambience3

After having the Shimp Aguachile, we both had stomach distress for a couple days.
Maybe they forgot to put the citrus in, because the shrimp seemed totally raw, and never firmed up.
We will not be going back here again.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

We arrived about 15 minutes prior to our reservation hoping to get seated early. Despite an apparent abundance of empty tables, we were told the staff was still clearing tables and would need to wait. We were finally seated about 5-10 minutes after our scheduled reservation time. The food was average at best and overpriced for the quality and portion size. I grabbed a couple

U
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall3food1service1ambience4

If one was to judge a book by its cover I would have passed on this restaurant. Call me old fashion but I believe a good old greeting goes a long way, and this was just the thing lacking from the hostess tonight. Good thing I’m not one to judge a book by its cover and decided to over look the less then welcoming hostess. For an upscale Mexican food restaurant where you just dropped $90 the food should be spot on, however, that was not the case at El Jardin. Perhaps it’s not all their fault because not many places can do upscale Mexican food and get it right. We had the guacamole trio which lacked flavor, the carne asada taco in which the beef had a very strong distinctive taste, the carnitas tacos were flavorless, and the under seasoned chicken mole where the chicken lacked seasoning and was layer on top of rice and very little mole sauce. Overall if you are going to be dropping $90 for “upscale Mexican” food your flavors and food must be on par. This place fell short forcing me to leave this less then favorable review.

ST
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience2

We waited so long to be helped by a server, the food was bland zero flavor it did not have any seasoning nor salt.L (lamb barbacoa with white rice not good at all!) The nachos where cold and flavorless. The prices were expensive for the taste. The manager was sweet and comped a few things however we will not return to this place nor recommend It.

S
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We had 7 things from the menu and they all had very nice depth of flavor. The service was informal yet excellent.

e
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food5service4ambience5

The food was fabulous. Unfortunately, there was menu items not available. I felt the restaurant did not order menu items accordingly for busy new years dinner reservations.

T
Raleigh
8 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall2food4service1ambience2

The food was very good overall, but our experience was not. The outdoor patio was cold despite the heat lamps, and our service was terrible. Several items from the menu were unavailable, the service staff forgot about our entree. After an hour we finally got our server's attention and the kitchen was able to make another, but by then, we were no longer so hungry anymore. I don't recommend this place unless you are very patient about service hiccups and foibles.

RP
Philadelphia
17 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

The food was delicious as always. Because of the holidays (the day after Christmas) the food and drinks were slow to be served.

J
Palm Springs
2 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience5

The service was excellent. We sat outside and the ambience is excellent. There is a very large circular fireplace with seating arranged around it. The inside is well done with a wall of colorful sombreros adorning the wall, as well as other authentic touches.

The food was good; however, my chief concern was the value. The menu is relatively simple (2 pages for food); the prices are not exorbitant but not cheap either; and, the portions are very small. This is a restaurant that you must eat a meal BEFORE you dine here or you may not be satisfied unless you order many things on the menu - but that will set you back a few $$$.

The house margaritas were very good and I feel like I got good value for those in terms of how well made they were.

Again, service was excellent but I would likely not return just because of the small portions but not small prices. I would recommend visiting & dining outside.

TB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

I grew up with Mexican food, and some of the dishes here reminded me of my childhood. The elote preparado, lamb barbacoa, and birria were my favorite! Service was kind of slow, and our food took some time but the manager was apologetic.

LA
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience5

We did like the look of the restaurant and the servers were very nice and service was excellent. I just think that the menu is too limited...no burritos and/or enchiladas and very few taco choices. What we ate was good ...not outstanding . Happy Hour prices are very reasonable.

J
Los Angeles
8 reviews