We were in Santa Monica on business, and (due to the fact that my hometown has exactly ONE decent authentic Tex-Mex restaurant) were craving some authentic Tex-Mex.
We were told about El Cholo, and decided to give it a try.
Our party was seated in an airy, outside patio (very nice) and were immediately treated to the typical complimentary chips and salsa (also very good). The menus were filled with fantastic choices; so many, in fact, that we all decided to order a bunch of items and split them all.
Our order included: Aged Cheese Quesadillas, Guacamole, Handmade Flour Tortillas, Blue Corn Enchiladas, Chicken Chimichangas, and Green Corn Tamales.
Overall, the food was well-prepared and presented; additionally, the Tableside preparation of our Guacomole was also very well done, and enjoyable - a nice touch. However, the chicken in some of the dishes seemed to be a bit stringy and dry, and have a bit of an aftertaste.
However, the most curious thing was this: some of the dishes served did not seem to match up with either the "Tex" or the "Mex" I have sampled in both Texas and Mexico. I don't know if this is merely due to "Americanizing" some of the dishes, but it was somewhat dissapointing to me. As an example - I absolutely LOVE tamales, but the El Cholo version was more like a crumbly, sweet corn casserole. Now, this is not an indictment on ALL their dishes, and we only tried a relatively small subset, but... I have had better. Also, the price seemed a bit high as compaired to the portion size and quality.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.