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“Food is good the Decor is terrible”
Review of El Torito - CLOSED

El Torito
Cuisines: Mexican
Restaurant details
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
103 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Food is good the Decor is terrible”
Reviewed August 24, 2014

The food is good, it isn't sophisticated food but well prepared.
The Decor is terrible and for sure is a factor for possible future visit.
The service is OK and fair cost.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Meir M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

45 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“The sign above the hostess desk is offputting”
Reviewed August 5, 2014

As you enter there is a sign over the hostess desk that warns you the food served may contain ingredients that cause cancer and birth defects - I'm sure they need to display this by regulation, but not something you want to read as you enter! I ate here for lunch and dinner as I was staying in the Plaza Suites about a 5 minute walk away. Both meals were okay - decent portions and relatively tasty, great guacamole and the salsa/chips when you arrive is a nice touch. But generally it did taste a bit artificaial - I scraped the red sauce off my enchillada because it was toxic looking red and too sweet. Not bad but not amazing - for a quick, good value meal that is better than McDonalds I would recommend.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Katie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia Beach, VA
Level 6 Contributor
294 reviews
221 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
“Give it 5 of 5”
Reviewed June 29, 2014

Give it 5 of 5. Was traveling on business and showed up here for a late lunch. What I liked:

1. Dora, my waitress was patient, smiling, and helpful as I asked her many questions about the menu.
2. Chicken enchilada, frijoles, and carnitas en tamal (chunks of tender pork in a tamale)—sooooo good and hot. Just the right amount of sauce and cheese too. Hot plate.
3. The bar serves margaritas in a zillion combinations and flavors. Served on a big stem glass. Fabulous.
4. Warm chips, fresh salsa.
5. Music not too loud and NOT nonstop Mexican love songs.
6. Karaoke and a live band on some nights—though they weren’t there when I was, but just letting you know.
7. Lovely South American ambience.
8. BUT WHAT I REALLY LIKED: the fried ice cream. A scoop of creamy vanilla with the most amazing combination of fried (flour) tortilla shreds, crispy and light; dusted with cinnamon sugar; teeny bits (not over the top, just a hint) of dark chocolate; a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Oooooh: creamy, crunchy, spicy, sweet, smoky cinnamon goodness. Much, much better than so many house desserts. And—it wasn’t monster big. It wasn’t small, but it wasn’t monster big, which forces you to leave half of it behind. No, I ate the whole thing!
9. Price: House (skinny) margarita, full hot dinner, that fab dessert, and fresh decaf, and tax: $26.47. Worth every penny.
10. Located in the hotel/business district near Marriott’s Great America. I walked just 2 minutes from my hotel to lunch.

What I didn’t like:

1. Nothing. I’ll be lunching there again later this week.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Ginny000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Level 6 Contributor
154 reviews
89 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Decent portions and mildly spiced”
Reviewed June 26, 2014

The serving size was decent and food wasn't bad at all. Service was good and the waiter was attentive.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Karjanmed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunnyvale, CA
Level 6 Contributor
396 reviews
185 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1,589 helpful votes
“Good chain food, large servings, prompt service, too far in the boondocks”
Reviewed April 15, 2014

El Torito is another of those innumerable Mexican food chain restaurants, similar to Chevy's and Pedros. In fact Pedros is just across highway 101 next to Great America. El Torito is in a high tech industrial park section of Santa Clara, within one block of highway 101 south.

We came here on a Saturday, armed with a $10 coupon toward the minimum purchase of $35 that we had received in the mail. Otherwise I would not have bothered driving from Sunnyvale, 7 miles away.

The place is definitely very clean with well kept landscaping and attractive looking dining area and furnishings, surrounding an interior courtyard, similar to what you see in the movies.

We get a booth, and find all our neighbors speaking Spanish to the waiters. Freshly heated chips and salsa arrives promptly. We decline drinks, only water, and place our orders, while listening to soft mariachi music through the loudspeakers.

My wife gets the $19 6 oz Salmon covered with mango salsa and accompanied by spiniach.
She likes it, and thinks it is a good value.

I get the $17 frijita flank steak with onions, red and green peppers, combined with 4 corn tortillas, and some watery spanish beans. The steak is very good, tasty, and not too tough -amazing as usually steak frijitas are composed of the less desirable skirt steak.

We get out of there for $34 after tip and tax and discount. If the restaurant were located closer to us, and not in the boondocks, we would be back. However, this place is impossible to get to during weekdays due to the horrendous gridlock traffic on the nearby highway south 101 flowing into central San Jose.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank robert c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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