Food Review: El Cholo

“Here you will find anything that pleases your palate,” writes Grace Hiney in her review of El Cholo in Santa Monica. Photo: Facebook.

1025 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica
(310) 899-1106

By Grace Hiney

On cold night dinner at El Cholo was a delight as we were seated inside and enjoyed every bite of the terrific Mexican food. El Cholo has a long history of restaurants in Los Angeles which began on Western Avenue in 1923 and opened in Santa Monica in 1997. The interior setting is delightful with its array of pictures decorating the walls along with various Mexican features.  The interior is large with many tables for group seating as well as booths and large private dining rooms for private parties.

My friend and I enjoyed a booth and the thoroughly professional service by our waiter. We decided not to order a classic margarita (which are always superb here) but just a glass of wine while we studied the extensive menu and learned about the nightly specialties from our waiter. Meanwhile of course, we nibbled on the crisp tortilla chips after dipping them into the tasty salsa.

Here there are many choices to make featuring intriguing selections from different periods such as crabmeat enchiladas (1971) composed with Jalapeno-Cilantro pesto sauce, sour cream and avocado for $15.75, or the Ceviche Tostadas (2006) of shrimp, scallops, with a citrus marinade and extra virgin olive oil for $13.95, among many others.

There are seven enchilada combinations (1938) all of which are served with Spanish rice and refried beans.

Other selections vary from “A Taste of History” (1996) which is a cheese enchilada, rolled beef taco, Chile relleno and pork tamalm along with refried beans and Spanish rice, for $16.95

My friend, Barbara decided that the Fish Tacos (2001) from the octet of Special Dishes was perfect for her. Composed of grilled Mahi Mahi, with corn tortillas, tasty cabbage and escabeche of poached or fried fish covered with a spicy marinade, with pico de Gallo relish and a zesty chipotle aioli. This was a dish of of very tasty bites for $17.95.

I, on the other hand, selected the Cochinita Pibil composed of delicious flavorful pork along with guacamole, thin slices of Spanish onion, black beans in a small crisp tortilla, Spanish rice, all generously portioned giving this dish a very a special look – all for $23.95.

Fajitas (1984) is a dish sautéed with fresh vegetables served on sizzling skillet along with marinated tender strips of steak ($18.25), delicate chunks of chicken ($17.55), to the House Specialty of Shrimp ($18.95), or to a vegetarian medley of fresh vegetables ($14.55).

Here you will find anything that pleases your palate. At the end of our dinner, we shared a delicious flan custard with caramel sauce, whipped cream and fresh strawberries.

Hours here are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m

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