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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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Dining options: Lunch, Reservations, Late Night
Good for:
Families with children
Large groups
Outdoor seating

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 118 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 35
    Excellent
  • 50
    Very good
  • 24
    Average
  • 7
    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
Most recent review
Great Drinks, So-So Food, Bad Service

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... read more

3 of 5 starsReviewed February 15, 2015
John B
,
Dallas, Texas
Good for:
  • Families with children
  • Large groups
  • Outdoor seating
  • Lunch
  • Reservations
  • Late Night
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118 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dallas, Texas
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
11 helpful votes 11 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
15 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
13 helpful votes 13 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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Sunny Cali
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

El Cholo has seen us come through those doors MANY times through the years. We love the house Margs....Food is good. Service is great. Getting a 7pm reservation....hard! They always offer 6:30 or 8....which is puzzling when we arrive and it's not that busy. Valet guys could pay attention to more than the drivers door..so just wait, they'll notice...eventually! It's... More 

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Santa Monica, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2014

I am not sure why people go here. The food is so mediocre and tasteless. I am sometimes forced to go here because my friends want margaritas. Thank goodness for the drinks so I don't have to taste the food. Try the many good Mexican restaurants in west LA

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Wakefield, New Hampshire
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2014

This is one of my favorite mexican restaurants. I've been twice and both times were very good. I highly recommend!

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Huntington Beach
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2014

Let's see. My wife and I went there for lunch yesterday. Each of us had the lowest-price dish on the menu, one-item combos at $8.75 or so per. We also had no-name tequila margueritas served in simple water glasses at a whopping $9.00 each! Including a mediocre tip reflecting completely lackluster service, we left the restaurant paying just shy of... More 

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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2014

I have been a customer for years, I noticed over past six months that things have changed, my last visit just five days ago i finally asked the waiter if there was a new chef, the rice came on the plate like it was served with an ice cream scoop in a round ball and less rice, the hard shell... More 

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Rolling Hills Estates
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2014

Absolute travesty of a dish. The rest of the meal was OK. Service wasn't great either as we sat at a table where the server didn't start until 6 and nobody told us.

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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?

Things to do Nearby

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