El Torito - La Mesa

4.2
114 Reviews
$30 and under
Mexican
Founded in 1954, El Torito is the authority in great Mexican food. A festive & hospitable restaurant rich in heritage, we focus on offering a memorable experience to make each guest feel like family, as if we are welcoming them home.

Using the freshest ingredients and boldest flavors, our menu offers a range of quintessential Mexican food, along with culinary innovations we know guests will love. We are known best for our tableside preparations, including our made-to-order guacamole and flame-grilled fajitas, which arrive sizzling to the table.

Our standard is great, and we don’t do anything without passion. Over 60 years, we’ve learned a lot about Mexican food, like how not to mess it up.
What 114 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
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.0
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 15 hours ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent service and food.
The server provided everything we asked for and was incredibly friendly!

TN
vipTammyN
San Diego
16 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall3food5service4ambience4

Had 30 mins wait with reservation. Went for Father’s Day and had a overall good experience. Staff was attentive.

LM
LuisMM
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The staff was very professional, efficient, and courteous. The food was delicious.

LG
LoriG
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall1food2service2ambience4

Advertised chilaquiles, chips with salsa, and berries on table but nothing on table. Service very slow, lines for buffet incredibly long, and not all included in menu available. Didn’t enjoy my meal at all.

B
Bivi
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Reward honesty our experience was the worst and got the worst experience With the waiter and we were just overall I’m happy and it really sucks because it was Father’s Day

RG
RobinG
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always like to eat here when in Southern California

OT
OpenTable Diner
Denver
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place!!!! Been coming here for a while and never disappoints me!! Saturday and Sunday's are buffet lunch... thank you!!

BR
vipBeverlyR
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and very quick service!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on June 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a wonderful experience from beginning to end.

BE
BrianE
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The menudo is outstanding as all of the other food. Fajitas are freshly cooked right in front of you.

BE
BrianE
San Diego
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Usually Carlos takes care of me but this time a female (I didn't catch her name behind the bar) took care of me and did a flawless job of making sure I had everything I needed. Great as always.

F
Food2good
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience3

Very good food and drinks. Prices were great also.

El Torito - La Mesa
Responded on June 7, 2021

Thank you for your review. We are happy to hear you enjoyed the drinks! – Xperience Restaurant Group

Report
CR
CarmenR
1 review
Dined on May 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a wonderful brunch with family. Great service and food. They did follow all Covid guidelines. Can’t wait to go back!

RC
ReneeC
1 review
Dined on May 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was nice to get out Abby is a great addition to the staff
Thank you El Torito

SH
ShermanH
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The options and quality of food was great. Our waitress was amazing. The atmosphere and energy within the restaurant was perfect. The line for the buffet was expected but worth it.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience4

We were seated next to 2 big groups in the very back...they were celebrating a bdays so it was way to LOUD...we didnt enjoy our food cause we ate and rushed out of there and for $65 for two buffets we couldn't enjoy it..we asked to be moved and was told there was too much of a wait...just Irritated

VM
VanessaM
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2021
Overall1food5service1ambience1

I usually come here at least once a month, yesterday was a horrible experience I had family come in to town for my birthday for brunch a total of 7 of us. We were told 3 times by a lady by the name “Maggie” that we had to leave because our two hr time limit was up?!!! We were not told that there was a time limit in the first place mind you there’s 7 of us and my family came all the way from LA to celebrate my birthday just too be rushed from our table, and lady was not nice about it either very rude! I asked for manger Maggie told me she was to busy. The waiter also was not friendly. Our normal waiter was on vacation. Horrible customer service there is a way to talk to people Maggie doesn’t have good customer services skills! Should be trained properly!

r
rosieme
San Diego
9 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great menu choices for food & beverages, waitstaff, Adrian, very cordial & helpful. Manageable prices, good service and good free parking warrant return to La Mesa
El Torito's.

DA
DeboraA
San Diego
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A very nice afternoon, our food was terrific and server very accommodating. The only thing would be the music was so loud my friend and o had to raise our voices to hear each other.

PC
PabloC
San Diego
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was excellent we had a great time!!! Service was great

El Torito - La Mesa
Responded on May 13, 2021

We cannot thank you enough for the kind words about our restaurant. Your review means a lot to us and lets us know we are on the right track! – Xperience Restaurant Group

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience1

The restaurant cancelled my reservation I waited over 30 minutes after I thought I had a reservation waited for the food just horrible

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall3food2service5ambience3

We were seated right away even though it was Mother’s Day. It was very noisy, as expected due to the holiday. Had to ask a couple times for ample salsa. Food was just OK.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall3food4service5ambience2

Extremely crowded for Sunday brunch with COVID modifications. People couldn’t serve themselves. I think this slowed things down a bit. I would have had a more pleasant experience if they limited the number of patrons in the restaurant. Each food station had a line to wait to get food. Food tasted good and our waiter was very friendly and attentive. Just the lines and noise level was not to my liking.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Brought my family here for Mother’s Day and she loved it! The food was delicious and the staff was so friendly! This place made us feel very welcomed, even with how packed it was. I would just suggest to make a reservation when the holidays come around because it can get full very quick.

El Torito - La Mesa
Responded on May 13, 2021

Thanks for leaving us such a wonderful review. We are glad that you and family loved our services. Our staff will be pleased to learn of your high praise. They work very diligently, and it will provide them with great encouragement to keep doing what they are doing. – Xperience Restaurant Group

Report
P
Partyofsix
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience2

Smelled like old oil used to make tortilla chips as soon as you walked in the door. Very noisy. Service/Waiter great. Probably won't go back.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2021
Overall2food4service1ambience3

The service was really bad. They took forever to even take our drink order which they messed up twice. Then they also messed up my food order.

W
Walter
San Diego
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2021
Overall3food2service2ambience3

Cinco de Mayo tacos, tortillas kept breaking apart. My reservation was @ 0700pm and had to wait 30mins for a table. Other than those two things everything else was fine.

S
Shona
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience2

Although I did enjoy the food and felt the prices were fair, the service was lacking IMO. The server seemed rushed and was not very personable. It also seemed like he was spending more time and was friendlier at other tables. We did have our two young children with us that night, so maybe we were pre-judged based on that.

I might give them another chance but I would prob go on a different night (this was a Sat)

AG
AbelG
San Diego
1 review
Dined on May 1, 2021
Overall2food3service3ambience3

I use to go to the bonita location for many years, a few weeks after they close bonita location, we tryout this one La Mesa location. But the food services it wasn't the same, so we stop going there for about 3 years plus, then this Sunday may 01 /21 we decided to go and give an other tryout. But And again Food wise just not the same. Service was okay. And the question that I ask myself. I would tryout again I don't know. If the Quality of Chenge maybe I give an other try... thank you. .!!!!

CP
CiaraP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waiter was EVERYTHING and ok the food was bomb! It’s so fresh and when you reserve a table there’s no wait!

G
vipGary
San Diego
9 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Very good food, but the waiting line for access to food was a little long

JS
JaniceS
San Diego
1 review
Dined on April 25, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Our server, Alajandro, was outstanding. He is a very hard worker.

CC
ChristineC
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The food was great, our waiter was excellent, the only problem was the host. When i arrived i gave him my name and reservation time and told him that the two people i was meeting should already be there. He said “no” without really looking and seated me. I sat there for about 5-10 while they brought me water and chips and i finally asked a server if my dining partners were anywhere else in the restaurant and i described them to her. Yes, she said, they are here and i will take you to them. Really annoying of the guy at the entrance to not even care to look. I would recommend this place with the caveat to be careful if you are meeting someone there.

CD
vipChristopherD
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Let's hope when Covid-19 is over El Torito can gain back it's previous standing.
As it stands now....it should've stayed closed. Service, I felt like the server was doing me a favor and didn't want to me to order out of sequence. The food was alright but not particularly memorable. We were going to order more Tequila but again I felt like I was putting the server out. They may have been short handed and it was later in the afternoon on a slow day.

LR
LoreleiR
San Diego
1 review
Dined on April 17, 2021
Overall3food5service5ambience3

El Torito's has excellent food but no atmosphere to accompany the delicious food or the hefty price you pay for that food. A little investment in updating the tables, decorations, and especially the carpet would make El Torito's a fine dining experience.

d
dragonfly
San Diego
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

the food was delicious, the service was outstanding

SL
SocorroL
San Diego
1 review
Dined on April 10, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience2

We did not think the food was worth the money, presentation was not so good, omelette was small. Waiter did not bring condiments, pepper, ketchup, hot sauce.

When we tried to use our coupon he said it was not pertaining to our meal.
We presented a different one but realized our first one was the correct one, but he did not apologize for his error.

PM
PatriciaM
San Diego
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience2

Just disorganized at check in ,too long of waits to get food from the buffet.

JM
JulioM
San Diego
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I enjoyed how easy it was to make my reservation through the app and loved the food and service!

GA
GinaA
San Diego
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nice, casual, friendly, and the food is always good.

FAQs

El Torito - La Mesa does offer delivery in partnership with Postmates and Uber Eats. El Torito - La Mesa also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (619) 698-7404.

El Torito - La Mesa is rated 4.2 stars by 114 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.