El Torito - Monterey

4.2
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285 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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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 285 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
4.2
food
4.1
service
4.1
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
68% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Orlando
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall3food5service1ambience3

The service was lackluster but the food was amazing.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Staff was so accommodating! We celebrated my dad’s 73rd birthday. Our hostess secured a great table and was able to store our birthday cake that we brought in. What amazing service. I own a hospitality consulting agency and this far exceeded my expectations. So proud of the staff and how everything was handled. GREAT JOB LADIES!

HA
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Made reservation on line for my Birthday dinner.
Arrived on time and was told they were preparing the table and it would be just a couple minutes.
20 minutes later we were still standing there, I asked for an update and the young girl at the check in told me I should sit in the bar if I didn't want to wait. I told her I made a reservation because I didn't want to wait. She told me I should go into the bar and push some tables together.
I told he no.
We were finally seated 30 minutes after our reservation time.
Had to ask for chips and salsa.
Food took over an hour - We were literally getting up to leave when the food arrived...3 of 5 plates were wrong, had to ask for, then received incorrect items that were ordered initially. My brother ordered a medium steak - it was very rare.
Waiter had a bad attitude when we told him to adjust the check as we were not paying for 3 plates of food that were not eaten -
Incidentally 3 other tables got up and left because the food took too long.
NO COMMUNICATION - if they would have told us the kitchen was so backed up the food was going to take over an hour we would have picked another spot.
Reservation for 7 - sat at 730.....food arrived at 840....NO THANKS NOT GOING BACK

JB
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

great Buffet Brunch with views of Monterey Bay California

RT
San Francisco
45 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall3food3service1ambience3

Tables with men treated better and server checked with them. Our server only nice, smiled, eye contact when close to paying the bill.
Appetizers were OK. Drinks not as good as last time there.
Probably would have been better in another section. Blender noise is constant and too loud. Many of other tables available would be better or get a blender that does not have extreme decibels.

RT
San Francisco
45 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding server. She had great suggestions, very sincere, and enjoys her job in hospitality. Food was great for lunch. Lucky to be away from the bar area and the loud blender running nonstop.
Clean window to look out at seals on the rocks. Hostess nice to everyone coming in, welcoming and smiling.
Good drink, food and server made this a great experience and why people return. Staff makes a difference.

l
San Diego
49 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

We made reservations through OpenTable but the restaurant did not check is in correctly. The service was extremely slow, the food was cold and average at best. While eating our dinner, I received an email from OpenTable stating we were a "no show" for our reservation. I had to stop eating, go to the hostess desk and have them check us in correctly. We love El Toritos and were excited for our dinner. Disappointed it did not meet our expectations.

R
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

Ordered a draft beer. Came back several minutes later saying they didn’t have it. My wife ordered pastor tacos. Came back 20 minutes later saying they were out. She ended up not ordering anything else because the other food was ready. The food we did get was very mediocre. Sauce on carne asada burrito tasted like watered down ketchup (sweet tomato flavor). My sons nachos came out burnt and he wouldn’t eat them. Would not go back.

M
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience1

Not real Mexican food, you will be disappointed. Staff was very nice and in a great area but the food wasn’t authentic or good.

LC
Dallas
9 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Open Table reserved a time for me right when closing and I had traveled all the way from north of San Francisco. So the manager was so nice to have the cook make me dinner and I really do appreciate the great custoner service. Will definitely be back when working in the area again.

OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

If your planning to go im letting you know make reservations because it is really busy, im so glad we did. Also a table or booth by the window is nice to see the ocean and view.

M
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

We reserved at 7:45 and were not seated at that time, even though we checked in early. Walkups were seated before us.

CJ
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Consistently good food and tables by the window are a bonus!

OT
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Dinner with the hubby. It was good and relaxing. The put us ocean view which was great. A good place to have a get together.

CW
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Really good food with a killer view on the Monterey Bay!!!

GS
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Great as always, with the usual wait for a table, even with a reservation. I counted 15 empty tables this time while waiting. All of us in the waiting area could have been easily seated and spending $$$ on drinks and appetizers if the waiters/waitresses could not handle the workload.

MA
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Any time we have visitors from our of town this is our go to place. Perfect view. great service, and food is, of course, awesome!

c
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2019
Overall4food3service3ambience4

Not bad food, pretty good service. If you're in the area and you just want something where you know what you're getting I would recommend it. I will say, I went with my mom and when they brought out her food they gave her the wrong thing (she wanted streak and shrimp, they brought chicken and shrimp) but they rectified the situation immediately. Like I said, not to bad, also nothing super special.

c
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2019
Overall2food1service3ambience5

We usually love our visit. It's usually every Friday evening but we changed the day this time. We were disappointed in the food quality and quantity. They skimped on our chicken amount. The fajitas were not sizzling and in fact were very luke warm. I was disappointed.

BE
Central Coast
4 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed our food, and especially loved being seated st a window seat.

OT
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great location, Good Food , Good Service, Good Happy hours, Nice people , quick service , plenty of choices to make on drinks, food, and appetizers, not easy choice to make , site seeing , nice window view of the ocean , surrounding still looks nice , no complaints , best part of Monterey

MA
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service and cute of Monterey Bay is nothing short of amazing. This is our go-to spot when visitors come to see us. The waiter was excellent and did was fantastic.

E
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall1food3service1ambience4

Horrible experience! Told us our table would be ready in 10-15 and sat down 45 min later. Poor bartender was working the bar alone (but doing a great job). Once we sat down it took over an hour to get food. After giving all but one of us our food they told her they were out of what she ordered. Too late to get a meal and offered her a salad. Manager came over and offered to buy dessert but didn’t want to acknowledge how bad the service was. The bill came and her meal was still on it. Won’t be returning and hope they get some help for the folks working there.

C
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

Great location and views. The food was bland and didn't have any flavor. Two of us ordered fajitas and they were warm, but not sizzling. We didn't receive silverware and napkins until after our food had arrived. The waitress was really friendly, the food just wasn't worth it. As a side note, the floor is oddly slippery.

BT
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall2food4service1ambience2

The exterior is dirty and VERY uninviting. The service was terrible, each server ‘passing the buck’, making us wait over 20 minutes to get water even! Totally uncoordinated and unprofessional. Food was good but not hot. Only thing good is ocean view and windows all need washing!

OT
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food and drinks at a great location

RW
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience3

It was okay, had a great view. Had a reservation but treated as a walk in by surly staff member and to wait for a table. Food was mediocre.

CP
1 review
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our evening at El Torito's was perfect. We were seated at a table with a view of the ocean which was fabulous, the food was awesome but the service was the best thing about the evening.
Our waiter (I wish I could remember his name) was very sweet and attentive. Never left us waiting for a minute.
We were there 7/4 at 6pm. If you can figure out who he was please thank him for us and thank you to everyone one else who works so hard behind the scenes.
Toby&Christy

n
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food great view

OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great time! Service was excellent.

CY
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

When in Monterey we always go there for lunch or dinner. We enjoy the location, near the ocean, the food is good and the people are friendly. It would be more convenient to have a restroom downstairs however. The server's are always courteous and attentive (except when it's really busy, they get sidetracked). Overall we enjoy our visit to your restaurant and intend to continue having lunch or dinner there when we're in Monterey.

GS
1 review
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love the view and the staff is very friendly. Our server was very fast and got our order correctly the first time

AC
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

On water with great views especially if you get a window Table. Reasonable prices, good food and we had Fantastic Service and other support staff were great too. Great place to bring out of Town Friends of all ages👍

AJ
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience2

Food was very good, but service was painfully slow

YL
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

El servicio muy bueno. La comida estába deliciosa.

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B
Naples
2 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Server was very helpful and friendly but the food took very long to get to the table, especially since the restaurant was not that crowded.

G
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Glad we did OpenTable as it was a full restaurant with people waiting. Waiter warned us that the kitchen was talking half hour and was very attentive with chips, salsa and drinks while we waited.

Great water front view of Monterey Bay with rocks and waves splashing on them. Good food. Great location as waterfront close to Aquarium with it's own parking lot.

Not the best margarita. Only annoyance was a single stall bathroom for all to wait for and outdoor porta potty due to construction work. Assume this is temporary.

FM
San Francisco
30 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall5food5service2ambience3

Extremely long wait time even after doing reservations, we had to wait more than an hour to get our table.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience4

Very slow service for middling food. Fifteen minutes before orders were taken, half hour before they served the food (which was incredibly salty), and ten minutes before we got the check. All told, spent an hour and a half there for a basic one course dinner.

EL
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

We made reservations and were seated ahead of the time. Food was great, salsa delicious.