El Cholo Cantina

★★★☆☆
  • 5465 Alton Pkwy

    Irvine, CA 92604

    Map & Directions
  • 949-451-0044

Food

Food
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This is really a perfect place to go if you are craving good Mexican food, they have amazing tacos and some of their dips are really divine, I cant wait to go back for more.

3
★★★★★

This is really a perfect place to go if you are craving good Mexican food, they have amazing tacos and some of their dips are really divine, I cant wait to go back for more.

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I LOVE the enchiladas at El Cholo. It is my most favorite mexican food restaurants. Ask for the medium salsa.. only the locals know to ask for it and it is so much better than the standard.

4
★★★★☆

I LOVE the enchiladas at El Cholo. It is my most favorite mexican food restaurants. Ask for the medium salsa.. only the locals know to ask for it and it is so much better than the standard.

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I have to say that El Cholo Mexican Restaurant on Alton and Jeffrey in Irvine is nothing special. The food was bland and the service was ok. I may of not ordered the best thing on the menu but out of 5 of us there, none of us were impressed.

2
★★☆☆☆

I have to say that El Cholo Mexican Restaurant on Alton and Jeffrey in Irvine is nothing special. The food was bland and the service was ok. I may of not ordered the best thing on the menu but out of 5 of us there, none of us were impressed.

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I have had better and more authentic Mexican food in Dublin, Ireland than I had at this Irvine restaurant this past Cinco de Mayo. The waiter was inattentive, the drinks were overpriced and contained no discernible tequila, and the food, from the salsa to the entrees was bland, flavorless, and poorly cooked. My Margarita on the rocks, no salt arrived salted and blended and when I mentioned this to the waiter he just mumbled, "sorry about that". He made no attempt to replace the drink with the one that I ordered. He was seated with a party of 8 who arrived after we did and we never saw him again. It took two requests to other servers just to get our bill so we could leave. My cheese enchiladas were soggy and flavorless and when I cut into one of them I discovered that it contained only the barest hint of cheese. The chicken was so devoid of flavor it must have been boiled. My BF ordered the Carnitas and got Pork Chile Verde instead. We tried in vain to get the waiter's attention to no avail. He gave up and ate it anyway since he had to get back to work and the clock was ticking. The pork was chewy rather than tender and the chile verde sauce had the consistency and flavor of wallpaper paste. The rice was hard and crusty and the black beans, undercooked by far. Both lacked any flavor whatsoever. I tried to add some zip by piling on the salsa, but this proved futile as the salsa was weak, insipid, and devoid of any trace of heat. El Cholo is one of the WORST and least authentic Mexican restaurants in which I have ever had a meal, and it's not cheap either! With all of the talented Mexican cooks around it's a shame that El Cholo can't seem to put any in their kitchen.

1
★☆☆☆☆

I have had better and more authentic Mexican food in Dublin, Ireland than I had at this Irvine restaurant this past Cinco de Mayo. The waiter was inattentive, the drinks were overpriced and contained no discernible tequila, and the food, from the salsa to the entrees was bland, flavorless, and poorly cooked. My Margarita on the rocks, no salt arrived salted and blended and when I mentioned this to the waiter he just mumbled, "sorry about that". He made no attempt to replace the drink with the one that I ordered. He was seated with a party of 8 who arrived after we did and we never saw him again. It took two requests to other servers just to get our bill so we could leave. My cheese enchiladas were soggy and flavorless and when I cut into one of them I discovered that it contained only the barest hint of cheese. The chicken was so devoid of flavor it must have been boiled. My BF ordered the Carnitas and got Pork Chile Verde instead. We tried in vain to get the waiter's attention to no avail. He gave up and ate it anyway since he had to get back to work and the clock was ticking. The pork was chewy rather than tender and the chile verde sauce had the consistency and flavor of wallpaper paste. The rice was hard and crusty and the black beans, undercooked by far. Both lacked any flavor whatsoever. I tried to add some zip by piling on the salsa, but this proved futile as the salsa was weak, insipid, and devoid of any trace of heat. El Cholo is one of the WORST and least authentic Mexican restaurants in which I have ever had a meal, and it's not cheap either! With all of the talented Mexican cooks around it's a shame that El Cholo can't seem to put any in their kitchen.

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First off, there is definitely one reason to go to El Cholo - the green tamales, which are only available for part of the year. They're worth a trip, worth a wait, and even worth the less-than stellar service I've experienced at El Cholo.

Otherwise, the prices are a little high (though not terrible), the food reasonably good, if not stellar, and the service and wait times rather lousy.

I've eaten there on several occasions, and wait staff has ranged from bored and inept to downright rude. I've often been given the impression that I'm somehow _bothering_ the waiter when I place my order - or when I dare to ask for something like a glass of water.

On a couple of occasions, after lengthy waits (15+ minutes), with the waiter avoiding eye contact when we try to flag them down, I've actually ended up walking across the restaurant to ask the manager to please send the waiter to the table.

The food is decent. The green tamales are worth some annoyance. But my experience has been that the service is sub-par, and while the food is certainly better than most of the other sit-down Mexican restaurants in Irvine, I'm not sure it's worth the price, if combined with long waits and bad service.

If the service has improved since my last visit, I'd reconsider.

PROS: Green Tamales, adequate food
CONS: bad service, long wait times

3
★★★☆☆

First off, there is definitely one reason to go to El Cholo - the green tamales, which are only available for part of the year. They're worth a trip, worth a wait, and even worth the less-than stellar service I've experienced at El Cholo.

Otherwise, the prices are a little high (though not terrible), the food reasonably good, if not stellar, and the service and wait times rather lousy.

I've eaten there on several occasions, and wait staff has ranged from bored and inept to downright rude. I've often been given the impression that I'm somehow _bothering_ the waiter when I place my order - or when I dare to ask for something like a glass of water.

On a couple of occasions, after lengthy waits (15+ minutes), with the waiter avoiding eye contact when we try to flag them down, I've actually ended up walking across the restaurant to ask the manager to please send the waiter to the table.

The food is decent. The green tamales are worth some annoyance. But my experience has been that the service is sub-par, and while the food is certainly better than most of the other sit-down Mexican restaurants in Irvine, I'm not sure it's worth the price, if combined with long waits and bad service.

If the service has improved since my last visit, I'd reconsider.

PROS: Green Tamales, adequate food
CONS: bad service, long wait times

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The food at this Irvine cantina is good, but the green tamales are GREAT. Available only from May to October of each year, these tamales are sweet and worth the trip. The prices are a bit high, but the food is not just standard Mexican cuisine. The wait on the weekend can be long, and the parking in the shopping center is frustrating.

PROS: GREEN TAMALES!
CONS: Long wait, parking is tough.

4
★★★★☆

The food at this Irvine cantina is good, but the green tamales are GREAT. Available only from May to October of each year, these tamales are sweet and worth the trip. The prices are a bit high, but the food is not just standard Mexican cuisine. The wait on the weekend can be long, and the parking in the shopping center is frustrating.

PROS: GREEN TAMALES!
CONS: Long wait, parking is tough.

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Irvine isn't exactly the place to look for authentic Mexican cuisine. At El Cholo Cantina you're right at home. The exterior might have been a renovated El Torito but El Cholo has roots planted in California since 1923. A great place for after-work margueritas and appetizers. An even better place to enjoy the "Taste of History" - the signature combination PLATTER with the taco, chile rellano, tamale, and enchilada that made El Cholo famous. Everything tastes authentic because it is. I personally drove all around the OC and Mexico was too far. This is close enough.

2
★★★★☆

Irvine isn't exactly the place to look for authentic Mexican cuisine. At El Cholo Cantina you're right at home. The exterior might have been a renovated El Torito but El Cholo has roots planted in California since 1923. A great place for after-work margueritas and appetizers. An even better place to enjoy the "Taste of History" - the signature combination PLATTER with the taco, chile rellano, tamale, and enchilada that made El Cholo famous. Everything tastes authentic because it is. I personally drove all around the OC and Mexico was too far. This is close enough.

Pros: great for family, great cantina bar, open air kitchen

Cons: crowded after work, noisey at happy hour

 

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