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General Info
Founded in 1997, El Cholo is a restaurant that serves Mexican, contemporary and classic dishes. Its menu includes fiesta platters, cheese quesadillas and tortilla soups. The restaurant offers steaks, shrimp, chicken breast, Caesar and house salads and vegetables. El Cholo provides space for parties and accommodates up to 20 guests. It offers cooking instructions and recipe information. The restaurant also provides lemonade, strawberry and cadillac margaritas and cranberry juice. Its menu features New York-style steak with beans, rice, cheddar cheese, tomato sauce and cream. El Cholo works in collaboration with a nonprofit organization that provides food and entertainment items to overseas troops.

Regular Hours

Extra Phones

Phone: (310) 899-1189

Phone: (310) 966-1919

Fax Number: (310) 899-1189

Payment method
all major credit cards, discover
Price Range
Wilshire-Montana, West Los Angeles

El Cholo (Santa Monica)

El Cholo Restaurant

El Cholo Mexican

El Cholo Cafe

Mexican Restaurants, Restaurants, Latin American Restaurants
Other Information

Parking: On Site

Wi-Fi: Free

Bike Parking: Yes

Attire: Casual

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Cuisines: Mexican, Latin American

Alcohol: Full Bar

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: Yes

Price Range : Average


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Busy Mexican restaurant with g...

Busy Mexican restaurant with good Americanized Mexican food and strong margaritas, so be careful if your are driving. The salsa and chips are perfect to enjoy with margaritas. I had the beef taco and enchilada combo which was great.

It's a big rambling Mexican style building with downstairs and upstairs dining areas, a bar, and a courtyard with tables in front. This location is newer and doesn't have the charm and atmosphere of the original in Los Angeles, but it has the same wonderful food. Upstairs seating is a bit quieter but overall pretty noisy. The decor inside was rustic and a good setting for the meal. Service was great as well.

I'd definitely 100% go again...



Provided by Citysearch - 
It'll do...

You know what you're getting when you visit El Cholo. Unauthentic food and ambiance, waiters that want to be elsewhere, and so-so margaritas. That said, Mexican food in general in Santa Monica is awful, and El Cholo is actually better than most.



Provided by Citysearch - 
American Styled Mexican Food

The restaurant is very nice to dine in, which is kind of unusual for Mexican food in LA. But the waitress kept trying to get us to purchase more food and suggesting drinks, guacamole, dessert, etc to increase the bill instead of providing better service. I had to ask for water several times and the restaurant wasn't even 1/4th full. It's loud, so I have a friend that always brings her kids, and the food is just so-so. If you like real authentic mexican food, don't bother. This last time I was with a bunch of elderly women so the constant push for margaritas was kind of odd.



Provided by Citysearch - 

Uncomforting comfort food cooked with no love, served in a smelly dining room by waitresses with ridiculous costumes. Regulars to this place must be easy to please.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Best Mexican in LA/Santa Monica

I'm a huge mexican food fan and have tried almost all mexican restaurants in la & santa monica. This is by far my favorite spot. Great margaritas (and variety), great food (my fave is the fajitas) and love the down to earth & traditional atmosphere.

Also, cheap valet ...but it does get full fast ...



Provided by Citysearch - 
Love the salsa!

This place is my home away from home. Great food, great service and great cocktails.
I love sitting outside on their small patio and in their huge bar lounge area. Great for a fun date or bring the whole family. Mixed crowd. MUST try their fresh lime margaritas.
All natural and better calories for you.



Provided by Citysearch - 
The most amazing tamales I've ever had

I have always heard about this place, but have never went. I am glad I did. They had the best tamales I've ever had. Unfortunately they only had them May-October, so now I have to wait six months to try them again. The other food was delicious as well, try the enchiladas. The margaritas had no tequila though.



Provided by Citysearch - 
One of my favorite, Mexican restaurants

In a city filled with Mexican restaurants, this is one of the best in my opinion. Their margaritas are thick and flavorful. The guacamole tastes tantalizingly fresh, which is good since the wait staff makes sure to keeping filling up your tortilla chip basket. The meat and shrimp for the fajitas has never come overcooked for me, and the enchiladas are deliciously creamy. Make sure you bring a big appetite as the portion sizes here are huge. The inside of the restaurant decorated to look like Mexican kitchen is a festive place to eat, though sometimes noisy. The outdoor patio on a warm night, which is sectioned off from the roadway, is perhaps the more intimate area of the restaurant to dine. Prices are average for what you pay at a higher-end, sit-down Mexican restaurant around L.A.-area. El Cholo fills up fast, so be sure to make a reservation.



Provided by Citysearch - 
El Cholo = El Terrible!

I went with a friend for the first time and didn't have a good experience. Ordered salad in a tostada shell and sent it back because it was so greasy. Ordered chicken enchiladas instead because I thought it was a safe choice. Not the case. Food was extremely salty, and slathered in cheese and sour cream. By that time I was starving so I ate most of it. Really seemed like they use prepackaged frozen foods and ingredients. So overpriced! I prefer Taco Bell to El Cholo.

To their credit, the salsa was decent. The service was decent as well.

That night, I also ordered a plate of enchilada suizas to go for my boyfriend. Didn't say anything about my experience with the food in case he liked it. It turns out he didn't like his food either. Same reasons: salty, cheap ingredients, soaked in grease. Neither one of us would recommend El Cholo.



Provided by Citysearch - 
never again!

awfulk service! I came down here on a saturday night and damn....just plain awful. I had the enchiladas and my friend had the steak fajitas. Lets say Pepto is a must after dinner. I had to flag down our witress servral times andi guess they dont give refills cause I sure didnt on either my cke or water......awful place.....

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