El Torito - San Leandro

3.9
154 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 154 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
4.1
food
3.7
service
3.8
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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CA
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

We arrived at 4:30. However only 2 of our 7 were on time. First hostess wouldn't seat us until we had 3 of our party there?? A 2nd hostess came and took us to our table and she was also our waitress. I wish I had her name, because she was great! Music was a little loud, so it caused everyone to talk louder and that just made it all the more noisy.

I love El Toritos and will always recommend it for a good meal, at a good price with good service and the view of the bay is nice too.

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g
San Francisco
30 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Waitress was excellent she was very attentive she brought everything on time very helpful checked in to see how everything was . The View of the bay was beautiful

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AC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 1ambience 5

I always love brining all my friends and family from out of town to this place food is amazing and so is the view. This was the first time I experienced horrible service form my waiter he would forget to put in our drinks or just not even pass to see if we needed something. I was very disappointed since your staff is very friendly. I will definitely be back but hope I don’t get the same waiter lol

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b
San Francisco
35 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Of the many times at El Torito, Angelina has been the best server we've ever had. Excellent.

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V
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 4

Great location! But food was less than par and the customer service was not good!

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RF
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

The Brunch is worth the wait but I wish they were more organized when it comes to their customers who made reservations far in advanced.

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JC
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

This is a great place for a family holiday meal. There are lots of delicious options from chicken posole to shrimp tostadas to chilaquiles. There is something Mexican for everyone.

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CG
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

It's been years since our last visit to this El Torito. We stopped coming coz of the crappy service we had gotten before. We came to this El Torito because my cousin from the Philippines wanted to have her birthday dinner and her son's bday dinner by the bay. Glad we did because the service we got this time was GREAT. I apologize I forgot our server's name but she was awesome.
The food was delish, they gave us a table by the window, and my cousin and her son enjoyed their birthday sumbrero and dessert.
The only not so good comment I have is the margarita - i had 2 glasses of the regular margarita and both tasted watered down (or not enough tequila). Not the same margarita from El Torito that I remember.
But overall, great experience this time and will for sure come back.

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent customer service. The food was delicious. The temperature was very warm due to the heat wave. They kept the back door open.

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g
San Francisco
31 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Beautiful view of the Bay. food was good good. We were the first to sit down and the people on either side of us were waited on first I'm one of them left before we did because we got our food so late

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b
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

As usual we were there for the food which was excellent. The service left something to be desired. A couple of our requests were ignored and others were late in being fulfilled.

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JC
1 review
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Thank you for offering a good variety of delicious food! Our group had a nice time. Although, the noise was a little loud because we were inside a room with other larger groups. The seats were wide and comfortable but they were also grouped too close together that it was tricky to get in and out of your seat. Albiet a few seating seating concerns, our group was appreciative of the easy online reservations, delicious food, a relaxing experience and good times with friends. Thank you again El Torito!

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A
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I wish we lived closer. I have always loved El Torito. The wait staff was great as was the food. We were celebrating a birthday and brought our own cake. The staff took it upon themselves to add in their birthday celebration without being asked, which we appreciated.

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b
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

We use to come to El Torito and I think the last time was 3 years ago. the place has really gone downhill. It was strange to see the place to empty but I know why. My appetizer was burnt and looked nothing like the photo. My tortilla soup was just chicken soup, no cheese, avocado, nor tortillas. The waitress said she made the decision to remove any avocado or cheese because one person in our party had a food allergy. Well that person wasn't eating our food and why would she make that decision for the entire table without discussing it with the table. Yet, my sister who was a guest had specifically said she didn't want guacamole on her dish because she is allergic, and her dish had quacamole and had to be taken back.

Service was slow even though there were not many people in the restaurant, and it seemed that when we spilled water, I jokingly said "if you give me a towel, I'll clean up." The bus person tossed me a towel and I began cleaning the spill myself.

I didnt' want to send anything back or complain, because I wasn't sure if they would do some unmentionable things to our food in the kitchen. If you just don't care on the outside when people are there, I can just imagine how that same attitude is 100x worse behind closed doors. I drank my soup, ate my burnt bacon wrapped shrimp (2 of them) and called it a day.

This was a birthday celebration for my sister. After the dinner my father leaned over and said, "next time I'll choose the restaurant."

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We have a good experience from moment we arrived. Thank you

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S
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Had a window booth. Waitress was wonderful. Food service was slow. Definitely will go back b

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AM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

I used to love this place but the buffet was empty almost the whole time and our table was sticky and dirty . Our server was nice but awful at his job . All on all 206 bucks for 4 plates of enchiladas and beans and one plate of fries for the kid was a rip . Should have just gone to Horatios .

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NB
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

El Torito's Sunday buffet is typically great, though the larger than usual crowd on Mother's Day, the lines at each station, and the lack of certain short order items (the waffles especially), was somewhat disheartening. The food that I did have was great, as were the mimosa's, so I can't really ding the restaurant on anything other than the way they weren't really able to keep up with the demand (twice I went up to find their giant pan of rice nearly empty, no one was at the soft taco station for quite a large portion of my time there, thankfully there were a few lukewarm tortillas available for me to help myself with, and i went up at least 5 times just looking for one waffle, and when I found two and brought one back to my Mother, I got a lot of glares from other mothers trying to get their kids waffles, but in the end they were delicious as usual).

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PM
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 4ambience 3

The reservation desk was an absolute nightmare. They were very disorganized. We had 11:45 reservations. After checking in I had to recheck every 5 minutes to see where we were at. The final time I had checked around 12:25 they had already crossed off our names. We were sitting inside no less than 8 feet from the desk and they never called our names. Needless to say I was livid. They sat us right away. Thank goodness for the sweet waiter we had and the decent food. I would recommend El Torito but NEVER on Mothers day.

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GB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

I really enjoyed El Torito's Sunday brunch. They have a lot of options and the seating by the water is lovely. Although we made a reservation, it didn't seem to matter when we arrived since it was Mother's Day. We had to wait an additional 40-45 minutes to be seated from our initial reservation time, and unfortunately the reservations were not properly managed so parties (with the same number of people) that had reservations after us were seated before us. This was quite frustrating. Besides the lack of management at the front end, our server was very kind and attentive. The food was also great, and they kept the brunch buffet fully stocked.

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KF
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

Not on Mothrs day. It was a zoo!
They took way too many reservations and we still had to wait. Any other non holiday they are good.

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LT
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

I've been going to El Torito's for brunch for over 20yrs. This was Mother's Day, and very busy, so I give a pass on anything that I disagreed with on that day. Because I always have a nice time when I go there for Brunch😉

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 2

It was an excellent brunch buffet. There were plenty of options our waitress Sadie was super friendly and attentive!

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A
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had a large group come to El Torito for my birthday brunch on Sunday, Cinco de Mayo weekend.
The manager was super accommmodating, not only did we get great service, they separated the check for us into different receipts (as we had multiple families/couples attending). The food was great, the waitress was very attentive and cleared our table/ filled up our drinks often.
The ambience was nice, the restaurant was clean. I highly suggest this location for events and for their brunch special!

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H
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

I haven't been here in years. Restaurant can use a makeover and friendlier staff. Food was ok. It was good to visit. I miss Chevy's.

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J
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on April 29, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

The food was good. The server could have been more attentive. She was not there where needed . I was not asked about dessert. It was a date afternoon and I was kinda disappointed.

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SA
1 review
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

From being told we couldn’t get a seat at the time of our reservation to being seated at a table so sticky the napkins stuck this was a disaster from the moment we walked in. Had to beg 3 different wait staff for water. Nobody cane by to check how anything was. Did we want another drink? They sure didn’t care! How was the food? Who cares?! I had mentioned on reservations that we were celebrating 2 birthdays. So what?! Never ever going back. It was an embarrassment and an all around major disappointment.

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KK
1 review
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The meal was delicious and our servers did an excellent job. My only real complaint is that the restrooms are up a long flight of stairs and although I am not officially handicapped, my knees just can't take those stairs. You do have a single restroom on the ground floor, but it's just not too great to have the main restrooms upstairs.

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EA
San Francisco
138 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Not up to normal level

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i
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

We made a reservation and came 15 minutes early. The host told us to wait, so we did. In most cases, as long as you have a reservation and you came minutes early, they should be able to sit you. Exactly 11 am, I approached the host again, and it seemed like she forgot about us. When they took us to our table, there were a few empty tables, so they could have seated us right away when we got there. Our server though was great. He kept on checking on us... our drinks, hows the food, etc. Regarding the food, for the price they charge for brunch, it was only mediocre. One that threw me off also was they are charging for a Surcharge. I asked what it's for and they just told me that it's automatically added to the bill. They could not tell me why they're charging surcharges to their customers.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was great. Will definitely be back.

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DA
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 2

El Torito offers a fun place to go for brunch. Good food, that was kept hot, handmade tortillas to order, and a bevy of different choices, from waffles to egg omelettes, from enchiladas to shrimp and ceviche. Large dessert bar and bananas foster & ice cream cooked to order. Not to mention brunch includes bottomless mimosas! Yummo!

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GI
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The flautas were some of the best I've had a chain restaurant such as El Torito and OMG the salsa.....to die for!!! I could have just eaten the chips and salsa honestly.

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GW
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

The reservation was easy. The part that was disappointing was it was for a Birthday and it was noted in the notes for the reservation. But our waitress didn't seem interested in really doing anything. But she did bring a flan and set it on the table and walked away. Yes we were charged for it. But a little later we saw someone else made a fuss over. The Birthday person we had with us has had a really hard year and that's why I wanted to do this for her to feel special. It was disappointing for all of us.

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CW
San Francisco
33 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

I have driven this establishment for years on the way to another restaurant close by. On the advice of a Family member, a few of us tried the Sunday brunch. Although the building could use some refreshing updates, the buffet was quite good. The food stations were clean and well maintained by personnel. Food quality was fresh and well presented.

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M
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Good food and service. The restaurant is getting old and needs updating

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We had a great evening dinning and we enjoy good service there was couples times wishing a happy birthday but other than that it was very great service

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IC
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

My family has come for two celebratory brunches. We love it. The staff is very friendly. For large parties, putting together tables don't always work due to spacing for knees and table heights are a bit off.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

It was a good dinner overall and we had a wonderful seat by their large bay windows looking out onto the Marina. It was a very nice evening and my second time at the establishment. My only note would be that there was an accumulation of dust on certain things that could’ve been cleaned.

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OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Enjoyed the table side guacamole and fajitas. Good service. Facilities are a little worn and dated but good food and service. Overall good value.

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