Like many reviews, if you are looking for "American" Mexican food (which I also enjoy when the time calls) this is not the place. All you need to know is that El Agave carries Huitlacoche on their menu (served in a delicious Chile Poblano soup). But if you are looking for a nice sit down, night out restaurant that serves authentic/traditional and more upscale Mexican dishes this is defininitely the place. That being said, I don't get the hoopla about the prices in several reviews. $6-7 appetizers, $10-14 soups, $20-40 main course, falls within the range of a very nice restaurant in one of the most tuoristy sections of San Diego (though at the very edge of it-not the heart). The service was tops, never left to feel forgotten, the waitress knew the menu, answered questions fully (not merely pushing higher end items), all employees were very nice and upbeat, our food was timely, and the ambiance was romantic (perhaps it was the company-but the physical appearance of the place helped...just a nicely appointe Mexican feel). I'm not much of a driker so I can't say much about the alcohol, I think the traditional margarita is delicious, but the jamaica margarita was too sweet. They do crray a wine list for those of us that prefer not to have coctails during dinner. As far as the food...I'm a San Diegan (sice childhood 5yrs) and can honestly say there is no competitor to El Agave in San Diego, both in menu items and taste. Having traveled quit a bit in Mexico, the chef know what he is doing. The authentic spices of traditional plates are there (from soap Azteca to the moles, to the duck). I have been to El Agave multiple times, tried a variety of plates, an the place has not disappointed. I'm a mole junkie an the poblano w/pork is one of my favorites, though I struggle to having to choose between that and the green or pipian...plain delicious! I just can't say enough about the place. The only negative is not really the restaurants fault, it is a nice enough place to dress-up yet people coming in in t-shirt, shorts and sandals...for dinner! Perhaps the location (Old Town= tourist)? Perhaps the general perception of a Mexican food restaurant ie:taco shop? Not trying to be a snob but you can pick this place up and place in a more upscale locale and they could very well require dinner attire. OK, that's my 2 cents. Last tip don't ever, ever, ever take tips about a Mexican restaurant from people reviewing the chips or the nachos, that's like reviewing the table bread and the fries...really? El Agave is tops in San Diego for a more authentic gourmet Mexican RESTAURANT, you will not find Carne Asada fries, combo #6, the foam plates or the 3.99 special, all good things found at the taco shop, but not a refined dinner. Try it out, dress-up, take your significant other, and enjoy a nice dinner. It really will not disappoint.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.