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El Cholo

Certificate of Excellence
$$
Neighborhood:
Santa Monica
Mexican
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1025 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 899-1106
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Good for:
Families with children
Large groups
Outdoor seating

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 125 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 38
    Excellent
  • 52
    Very good
  • 24
    Average
  • 9
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4.5 of 5 stars
Carnitas!

I love their carnitas! The chips and salsa is addicting and I am hooked on the creamy citrus dressing they have. El Cholo is by far our favorite place for Mexican!

4 of 5 starsReviewed March 18, 2015
ktomasunas
,
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Good for:
  • Families with children
  • Large groups
  • Outdoor seating
  • Lunch
  • Reservations
  • Late Night
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125 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Santa Monica, California
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2015 NEW

We live in the area and go a few times a year. The service has gone down hill. I would not suggest the Steak Fajita's. They claim they are marinated, dry as could be. It will be quite sometime before we go back. Taco Bell would be a better choice.

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Des Moines Iowa
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2015

This is one of those great long-standing establishments to which you just can’t help returning. The place is lively… often with large groups enjoying margaritas and laughter. They uniquely offer you little praline candies at the end of your meal to sweeten your visit and give you one more reason to return.

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Fort Mill, South Carolina
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2015 via mobile

We used to live in the area and were regulars at the Santa Monica location. We returned on vacation, start to finish we were disappointed. The hostess lost track of our name waiting for a table, after an extra 25 minutes we asked and the only respone was a nervous laugh and to be sat right away. The food was... More 

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Grand Rapids, Michigan
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2015

I love their carnitas! The chips and salsa is addicting and I am hooked on the creamy citrus dressing they have. El Cholo is by far our favorite place for Mexican!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

Vegetarian enchilada as well as the blue corn chicken and cheese enchilada were delicious, as was tortilla soup. The flan was excellent, only surpassed by the detailed attention of the wait staff. Sitting by the fireplace inside the restaurant (gets cool in Santa Monica in the spring evenings) and enjoying the house special margarita's is wonderful way to spend the... More 

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Indianapolis, Indiana
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2015

Had a great time with three generations dining at EL Cholo. Roberto, our waiter was particularly attentive to the grandchild. We all had the "Taste of History" and not only was it excellent, but the portions were large enough that we had 'take home' boxes for later at home.

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Dallas, Texas
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2015

If you're looking for a vibrant bar scene, El Cholo is the place to go. If you're looking for good Mexican food, keep looking. VERY limited menu from a restaurant that used to have a wide variety of items to choose from. Enchiladas, nachos and burritos look good, but the taste is just so-so. And apparently once the waiter takes... More 

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buenos aires
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2015

We were not expecting such a big place since this restaurant had been recommended by a mexican as offering food that tastes home made. But once we got seated, it felt like -I won't say home- but like a small local place. El Cholo has lots of small sitting areas, so one doesn't feel overwhelmed. The decoration is simple, homy... More 

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Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2014 via mobile

Pros: great location, cool looking building, great service, decent Mexican food, not great, close to 3rd street promenade. Cons: dirty restrooms, and a little overpriced for Mexican food. I have visited this restaurant many times over the years and the food is always decent. However, this past Sunday I ordered their version of Chilaquiles and it was horrible. Terrible. It... More 

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Manly, New South Wales, Australia
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2014

Local friends recommended this restaurant, referring to it as their go to for Mexican. We loved everything about this place. The building and decor, the history, the service and the food all make this a great place to eat. We had friendly and efficient service, with the waitress offering advice on meals and drinks. The food came in big servings... More 

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 1025 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Santa Monica>  > Santa Monica
  • Neighborhood: Santa Monica
  • Phone Number: (310) 899-1106

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 1 - 30
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Good for: Families with children, Large groups, Outdoor seating

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from El Cholo staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?

Staying in Santa Monica

Neighborhood Profile
Santa Monica
Santa Monica is a coastal town that maintains a balance as a tourist destination and as an area with a thriving local culture. On the beach, bikers, roller-bladers, runners and walkers move along the famed bike path enjoying the beautiful Los Angeles weather. The solar-powered Ferris wheel at the Santa Monica pier spins high above the water, while park revelers scream with delight riding the roller coaster. Inland from the beach, Third Street Promenade bustles with shoppers and street performers, where every block seems to have a musical or acrobatic act drawing crowds giving Santa Monica both the feeling of a laid-back beach town and a major commercial hub.
Explore this neighborhood