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Gilbert's El Indio

Map & Directions
(23 Reviews)

2526 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

(310) 450-8057

Today: 8:00 am - 11:00 pm
Tomorrow: 8:00 am - 11:00 pm
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Regular Hours

Payment method
cash only
Price Range
West Los Angeles, Sunset Park

Gilbert's El Indio Restaurant

Mexican Restaurants, Take Out Restaurants, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch Restaurants, Family Style Restaurants, Latin American Restaurants, Fast Food Restaurants, Caterers, Restaurants
Other Information

Parking: Lot, On Site

Wi-Fi: Free

Bike Parking: Yes

Attire: Casual

Good For Family: Yes

Good For Groups: Yes

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Cuisines: Caterers, Family Style, Mexican, Take Out, Fast Food, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch, Latin American

Alcohol: Full Bar

Takes Reservations: No

Outdoor Seating: No

Price Range : Average

Good for Kids: Yes


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My favorite Mexican restaurant in L.A. When we lived on the West Side, we went here at least once a week (often two times a week). There's almost always a wait to get a table at dinner time, and with good reason --- locals all know this place is just that good. The employees there are like family. Just hit up an ATM before you go; they only take cash!

Charlotte H


Provided by Citysearch - 
good service - worst tostada ever

I didn't complain at 6.30 yesterday, because I don't like making a scene in a restaurant. Time to rethink that !!! Everyone's food LOOKED good, and I ordered a tostada. I like a flat one though the ones in a shell are GREAT elsewhere. WELL - THIS ONE LACKED INGREDIENTS !! with only a thin smear of beans, 4 THIN SMALL slices of Avacado, one SMALL THIN slice of tomato, so little grated cheese - you could count the pieces, horrible lumps of dry pork - not shredded, and on top, a large pile of DRY shredded lettuce, a tiny dish of thousand island on the side but no sign of any salsa. There is NO EXCUSE for this. I make a superb tostada myself at home. This was over $8.00 !!
I don't like being insulted this way and silly for not sending it back ( but to me dinner is supposed to be a treat for oneself, a relaxing pleasant event - not war ).
Management are you aware of this ???



Provided by Citysearch - 
Cash only, no reservations

We are locals, and visit Gilberts, at least 3 times a month. Their Chicken tostada is outstanding. The service is always good, the Margarita's are average, the atmosphere is dive Mexican. We love it!



Provided by Citysearch - 

SEND YOUR ENEMIES HERE! Even if you are so privileged at to array superheroes amongst your most despised who have titanium taste buds and bowels of bauxite they will still have a horrendous experience. No amount of florid vulgarity that would make sailors blush from the hardened cod fishermen of the north sea to the pirates of the south China sea could express my revulsion. No I am grossly unfair, these are talented people! If they were merely bumbling fools they could not manage to consistently make everything obnoxious, they have skills!

Send Sarah (scary) Palin here.



Provided by Citysearch - 
I read the Reviews and I don't see it!

I read all the reviews on here and thought this place must be awesome. This was my 3rd time to Gilberts and the first two times were ok and enough to come back but this last time was absolutely bad. Loved all the service but the food was not good. We asked for more jalapenos and they said they were out. Now not that its a staple I have had plenty of Mexican food with out them but to be totally out and then offer a salsa that they claim is hot was dissappointing. I would have to say that after that dinning experience I will drive on to the next Mexican food restaurant to get my fix.

Bottom line food was bad, margs were good and when 2 girls ask for the hottest salsa in the kitchen you better make sure its going to make them tear up.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Surly service, limited and tired menu

I was looking forward to trying it. I wanted seafood, a fish taco, and they positioned themselves as Seafood specialists. It looked an interesting place from the outside.

What a disappointment. The thickset man who greeted us glared, and gestured offhandedly at a table. It was beside the jukebox. I asked that, if it was being played, could we move to another table. He snarled sarcastically, ""It's not playing now."" I looked at the menu. It was tired and limited. Only three seafood options - a piece of fish, a calamari steak, or shrimp.

So we ordered our drinks, they came quickly. The OTR margarita was nothing special. Not awful, but ordinary. The other waiter was also disinterested. No smiles or any interaction beyond a word or two at this stage.

I saw what should have been a tipoff. The lovely Mexican rug for decoration had been visibly stapled several times to the wall to hold it in place.

Now the food. It was boring and lacked authenticity. The guacamole was not as good as the packaged stuff from Trader Joe's. And the waiter put it on our table without a word. In fairness, my wife told me the ice tea was quite nice.

As we were preparing to pay, my wife had counted the meal price in front of her and we were discussing what tip the service (somewhere between indifferent and disdainful) deserved. The surly man who had first brought us to the table tried to grab it from in front of her before we added a tip. We should have let him. So we added a tip and left quickly - we just wanted to get out.

Never, ever again will we go there. You get much, much better service elsewhere - even at Denny's or Ihop! And the food on the limited menu at Gilberts was plain and tired. If you are a local who can walk to Gilbert's, not very discerning, and want a place where your kids can shriek to their heart's content, then this may just be the place for you.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Average, Overpriced, and Cash Only!

We went here recently on a recommendation from a coworker. It was a Sat. night and it was very crowded (it's a very small restaurant). Make sure to bring cash! It's a casual Mexican place, and the customers don't seem to care what they wear here or what they look like (some people looked like they just rolled out of bed with their PJs on). Children and babies are welcome, if that tells you anything. WaaaaAAAAAAAA! We had to wait about 30 mins. to be seated. The hurried waiter did not even greet us as we were seated. The waiters seemed to be very rushed to get people in and out as quickly as they could. The menu is typical Mexican and the food was mediocre at best. Campos down the street is actually better food IMHO. The margaritas that people make such a fuss about were ok, but the blended one had little or no kick to it. Did they forget to put tequila in it? They say the Maggies ""on the rocks"" are better. But for my dollar the margaritas at El Torito on Ocean Park Bl. are muco mejor con mas tequila! Our plates were quickly removed from the table almost before the last bite was taken, and our drinks were not empty when they were swept away from under our noses. We felt rushed like we were in the way. The bill came and I placed my credit card on the table...I was quickly frowned at for doing so, and told in a rather rude tone by the fat waiter that we don't accept credit cards, only cash. The whole experience felt like I was being taken advantage of. The food is average, the service is hurried. It is all ""smoke and mirrors"" and they seem to have a lot of easily pleased loyal customers who think this place is Great! A lot of people think Taco Bell is great too. Nothing wrong with that. It just wasn't the fun experience I was hoping for. Won't be back.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Old School, Down and Dirty Mexican Food

This place is the best at what it does. This is not healthy, lite California Mexican cuisine- this is the simple, tasty food that may (or may not) have been cooked in lard and definitely smothered in cheese. It's fabulous and hits the spot like no other when you're in the mood for such kind of food. The margaritas are great - strong and tart - and the carrots in vinegar they start you off with are addictive. My favorite meal is the cheese enchilida and carne asada taco combo. Wash it down with 1-2 margaritas and make sure to ask for the extra hot green salsa to spoon on your taco. Heaven (!) when you've had a crappy day and just want to relax with someone you love (or like a lot). Expect a line on weekend nights.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Authentic, Delicious, Friendly, Fast

If you are searching for authentic, to-die-for Mexican food in a friendly environment, Gilbert's is the place. Fresh chips and killer salsa await you on your table when you are seated and the food is delicious. You won't be dissapointed. The waiters are super friendly and attentive. Not super fancy but not a hole-in-wall. Casual place. Cash only so make sure you bring some! Enjoy!



Provided by Citysearch - 
I love this place! Great service, authentic, busy Fri. nights for a reason!!

Gilbert's El Indio (or just Gilbert's) on W. Pico in Santa Monica is a real gem. It is Cash Only, but that keeps the prices down. Wonderful staff - they take good care of you.

It's a fun place for couples, families, whatever! Interesting decor, simple and fun.

The chips & salsa are among the best in town. Excellent burritos and enchiladas! Friendly, relaxed, suburb food. Try to go every week - more if I lived closer! I take pretty much every out-of-town guest to Gilberts!

Expect waits Fri. night, but it's organized. Fast service, very polite & helpful.



Provided by Citysearch - 
When you don't want healthy on the Westside

If you want 10 different ways to put together the same bland ingredients, go to Gilbert's! The food is greasy and unimaginative. Their daily dinner specials are a good deal, and it is a good place to go if you want to get together with friends for some cheap eats and drinks. Otherwise I would say stay away from here!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Breakfast place

I love the breakfast here. Most are under 7.00 includes entree, coffee, is average, but it's a local place. I have been coming hre for years. It's kitchy, amd great margs. Get here early on weekends asthere is a line.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Gilberts It's Ok

Looking through the reviews I saw one person that was baffled by the great reviews. I am not baffled as the place has a great vibe and a very friendly staff, but one thing remains true. The food is average at best.

Its a fun place to go and the margaritas are as you will read in other reviews, excellent!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Fernando makes the best Margaritas!

What better way to start your evening than walking in the door at Gilbert's and having the bar right in front of you, and Fernando ready to pour the smoothest margarita on the west side. Sure, the place is packed, parking can be difficult, and they only take cash. If you can't stand a little diversity in your dining experience, go to El Torito - it will leave more room for the rest of us who appreciate a unique and friendly night out. Gilbert's is the real deal. Don't ever change!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Reasonable Prices for Great Food

Gilbert's is the best mexican restaurant in the area if you are looking for cheap, basic dishes. There isn't anything fancy, just the typical dishes you would expect. But everything is delicious. The service is very friendly and are constantly refilling your chips, salsa, carrots and drinks without you ever having to ask. The chips and salsa are heavenly. No grease! I eat here at least once a week. Just be warned, lunchtime is crowded.



Provided by Citysearch - 
The best

No one beats Gilberts for great affordable Mexican food. Their burritos are huge and filled with fresh ingrediants. The only bad part of the whole restaurant is that you have to wait for a table. But the food is well worth the wait. And you wait in the bar so you can drink their margaritas while you wait. This is a place you'll find yourself going back to over and over.



Provided by Citysearch - 
This Is The Best

Gilbert's is an old family favorite. It is great for groups and drinking perfectly salty-sweet margarita's. Their breakfast is a great deal (around 5 dollars with coffee). I highly recommend the machaca plate, heuvos con chorizo, and the albondigas soup. Gilbert's serves fresh tortilla chips, salsa, and spicy carrots marinated in oregano and garlic. This place is amazing for their beef and rich beans. If you like Mexican food made like your Abuelita used to make it then you have to try this place.



Provided by Citysearch - 
MExican food for people with no taste...

I'm baffled by the positive reviews this place gets. The food is truly bad -- greasy, flavorless, and surly waiters to boot. I've tried numerous dishes at this place and only the burritos are barely marginal. Why go here when you can go down the street several blocks and eat at Lares?



Provided by Citysearch - 

Food is EXCELLENT, I personally love the Mule burrito - its HUGE and full of everything wonderful!!! I also LOVE munching on the vinegar-infused carrots while you wait, free chips & salsa aren't bad either!

The setting is cute, decor includes photos of everyone in L.A. none of whom you know, but fun to look at nonetheless. I like the cute little things, like the fact that they serve your drinks in mini mason jars! Fun! And why not!?

What I don't like...They only accept CASH. C'mon, it's the 21st Century and Gilbert's is NEVER empty, so spring for the good ol' credit card machine!



Provided by Citysearch - 
The Best in LA

This is the best Mexican Food in LA. I'm from San Diego, where there's a dozen restaurants this good. But up here, this is a good as it gets. Nothing fancy, not the best service, just the best food. Enjoy.

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