El Torito - Pasadena

4.1
62 reviews
$30 and under
Mexican
Founded in 1954, El Torito is the authority in great Mexican food. A festive & hospitable restaurant rich in heritage, we focus on offering a memorable experience to make each guest feel like family, as if we are welcoming them home.

Using the freshest ingredients and boldest flavors, our menu offers a range of quintessential Mexican food, along with culinary innovations we know guests will love. We are known best for our tableside preparations, including our made-to-order guacamole and flame-grilled fajitas, which arrive sizzling to the table.

Our standard is great, and we don’t do anything without passion. Over 60 years, we’ve learned a lot about Mexican food, like how not to mess it up.
What 62 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.1
service
4.0
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
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LusineA
Central Coast
4 reviews
Dined on 5 December 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server was bomb! I forgot his name though...great service

D
Dissapointed
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 29 November 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

They were closed. We got there and they had an emergency remodel in the kitchen. Fortunately we found another place nearby (El Portal) that was delicious and delightful.

MS
MariaS
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on 28 November 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

I made reservations on the open table when I got to the restaurant they were closed after I got a confirmation text and email

B
Bobby
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 26 November 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience3

We went for the Thanksgiving day buffet and had a reservation for 7:15pm but arrived at 7:00 and wasn't seated until 7:20pm. No big deal. The closing time was to be 8:00pm. At 7:50pm they started taking items away and by 7:58pm there was nothing left when I went to get turkey which was just a carcass from 7:30 on and never replaced. I didn't complain because it was partially my fault for reserving so close to closing but I feel they should have mentioned they were going to start breaking down. Most buffets I've been to stop replenishing items at closing or shortly before and then leave them out for a while after and most restaurants when they close at xxx they stop seating at that time and don't literally close at that time. As I said previously partly my fault just a little disappointed over poor communication.

j
jillg
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on 26 November 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

It was a little pricey for the items they had available. I feel that their Sunday buffet has many more options available to its patrons then they did for Thanksgiving.

CU
ChristineU
1 review
Dined on 26 November 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Covid 19 having affect on everything overall these days

D
Diana
1 review
Dined on 26 November 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was excellent, our server Norma was very kind and attentive. Food was delicious as always!

MI
MaryI
1 review
Dined on 26 November 2020
Overall5food3service5ambience3

I was thrilled that the city of Pasadena has decided to continue to allow outdoor dining. Our server was diligent to refill drinks before they were empty and checked on us regularly to make sure we had everything we needed. My husband tipped a higher percentage than usual because of the great service.

S
Shelleysanaerikalindagrl
1 review
Dined on 30 October 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everyone was really nice. Seated quickly and service was great

RZ
RosieZ
1 review
Dined on 25 October 2020
Overall3food5service2ambience5

A server who thinks she runs the place not even a sup or mgr. Has a really shifty attitude and is rude. I've been to that location twice might be the last

GB
GabyB
1 review
Dined on 22 October 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Love happy hour is til 9 PM.. appetizers and drinks are delicious!!!!

y
vipyoukendoit
Los Angeles
22 reviews
Dined on 6 October 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience3

If it wasn't for having to wait for 22 minutes with a reservation, the dining experience at El Toro was fantastic. Our food server, Arlette, was very friendly, efficient and accommodating. When the food was prepared incorrectly, she was right on top of having it corrected. Thanks to her, having to wait 22 minutes to be seated and having food orders prepared incorrectly, she made up for everything! The shrimp and fish tacos were excellent!

V
Viggy
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on 4 October 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience3

The buffet food is nothing special. I won't be back. Service was slow but the servers were doing the best they could. I wish the outdoor seating by the front door was more social distanced from the customers waiting at the front door. They should improve the congestion in this area.

MG
MariaG
1 review
Dined on 26 September 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service, great food. Loved the happy hour deals.

NT
NotTooHappy
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on 25 September 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience2

The good side is there are ample tables. The downside is service is not very good, and some of the waitstaff downright belligerent. Too bad there are so few choices these days; this place really doesn't deserve the business it gets.

AD
vipAidaD
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on 22 September 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The remodel looks nice and pleasant. I was pleased with the service.

MR
vipMayRye
Los Angeles
40 reviews
Dined on 5 September 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience3

There were too many customer for your workers to properly attend to us. It was anxiety inducing to try to catch a server as they ran by. They weren’t rude. On the contrary, the management simply didn’t schedule enough staff.

B
vipBryan886
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on 30 August 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The Sunday Brunch was amazing. I felt very comfortable and safe eating at El Torito. I would just recommend that the waiters and waitresses check in with their tables more often. Our waitress disappeared for long periods of time. I had to get up from my table twice to go find her to get assistance at our table. Other wise, it was amazing!

C
Chica
1 review
Dined on 23 August 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The restaurant was quite busy and we waited about 10 minutes past our reservation time. With a gentle reminder that I was still waiting, they seated my friend and me in a good spot inside but near the big, open windows to the side patio. Cool and airy and comfortable. Our server was wonderful, even though we could see she was busy, so patience was needed on our part. And hers because it took forever to decide what to order. Very lively atmosphere. Not a place (at least at that time) for a quiet dinner. Being that we have been shut inside more often due to COVID, it was fun to be among people and hear the hustle and bustle of the servers, and customers talking/laughing. The food was excellent. We were there until past closing time, and never felt rushed. It was my first time going there and I was pleasantly surprised.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 16 August 2020
Overall2food5service2ambience4

Made the reservation thru open table, arrived and checked in sat and waited. 2 other parties came in gave their names and they were call just after they sat down. The host had not put us in the list to be called , I had to tell them we were waiting and because of this mistake we missed the brunch menu.

AL
ALICEW
1 review
Dined on 16 August 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The outdoor seating at the Cantina is very comfortable even on the hottest day. At the COVID-19 environment, only outdoor seating restaurants are opened, this is the most comfortable one I have experienced so far.

JL
JimL
1 review
Dined on 16 August 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Attentive server, good food and safe environment. Patio wasn't too warm and they had portable AC units to help with the heat.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Orange County
1 review
Dined on 14 August 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Mexican songs in a Mexican restaurant . You kidding me ?

g
vipgoodness
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on 7 August 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had a fantastic outdoor time here. My crispy taco was perfection:

SB
vipSBELL
Los Angeles
15 reviews
Dined on 1 August 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great experience. Love the patio seating and food was delicious!! We will definitely be back to this location.

j
jillg
Los Angeles
13 reviews
Dined on 26 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic brunch.... I love the newly remodeled restaurant! The open patio is beautiful and so nice on a beautiful day! Great food, service and ambience!

d
vipdavey
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on 19 July 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience1

This was not outside seating and probably violates state law - it was seating in the bar with the windows all open. Additionally, there was really no social distancing at all because people were walking in between the tables and constantly walking around us - which made up pretty upset and the staff told us that we had to live with it.

j
jillg
Los Angeles
13 reviews
Dined on 17 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

They have remodeled the entire restaurant. The outdoor patio area is very nice. It's very spacious and the tables are a generous 6 feet apart. The service and food were delicious. It was nice being able to dine out and feel safe during COVID 19 in a new and comfortable environment! I would highly recommend going here. I think it'd be fun just to come for Happy hour and enjoy the new patio!

D
vipDoto
Los Angeles
92 reviews
Dined on 4 July 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

It had been a while since we had eaten at El Torito. Food in the past has been somewhat poor in taste, during the last several years. However, on this visit, we found the food to be excellent. My Baja Combo meal was excellent, with the bacon wrapped shrimp, fish taco and shrimp enchilada, all excellent. My wife ordered the macho Combo, and also found it excellent, although she did experience gas later. The restaurants adherence to Covid-19 guidelines were also excellent, as far as we could tell. It was one of the few restaurants open on July 4, given the only serving outside rules, and being a holiday.

TD
vipTomD
Los Angeles
95 reviews
Dined on 15 February 2020
Overall3food5service3ambience4

Hope this means I am getting credit for this reservation. We got more food for the price. Great food.

YD
YolandaD
1 review
Dined on 4 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Celebrated my grandson's 21st birthday and he was very happy with everything. We will be back again.

EM
vipEvaM
Los Angeles
30 reviews
Dined on 4 February 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

I can say that the food was good and the service was also. I just did not like having to go to an outside bathroom to wash my hands.

MH
vipMichelleH
Los Angeles
13 reviews
Dined on 17 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food. Great value.

a
akvh
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on 3 January 2020
Overall2food3service2ambience2

Went on a Friday night for some comfort Mexican food. Seated in a good booth, orders taken quickly, and food came quickly. Husband's fajita special was large and good; I had the Friday AYCE fish taco special, which was also good. The problem was the service after the food arrived. Our server disappeared and never asked if I wanted more tacos until after my husband had already packed up his leftovers! We had to bother another server for salsa for the fajitas and tacos. SO, never got the AYCE deal. Finally, got home to find out El Torito never reported to Open Table that we made the reservation, but instead got snarky email about us not showing up. Had to respond to that.
Overall, would not return to El Torito. Too many other good Mexican places in the Pasadena area!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 25 December 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

It was very cold inside the restaurant. Had to keep jacket on. Food was so so.the Buffett wasn't worth the cost. I would have rather ordered off the menu. Would not go again for Christmas.

MG
MarshaG
1 review
Dined on 25 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our first visit to El Torito's Christmas buffet and we were extremely pleased. There was an excellent variety of deliciously-prepared food, attractively presented, and it was a pleasant surprise that each selection was labeled.

The waiter/server was outstanding -- pleasant, professional, and courteous. He seemed to be very happy to be there.

People at an adjacent table requested that the music be turned down, which made the experience even more pleasant. We actually held conversations without shouting at each other.

We'll be back!!

AM
vipArtM
Los Angeles
17 reviews
Dined on 28 November 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience5

A rib roast would have elevated the experience.

JL
vipJrryLouise
Los Angeles
126 reviews
Dined on 9 November 2019
Overall2food1service1ambience3

Service was bad. The cocktails were good, the food had no flavor. The grilled chicken salad was served with no dressing had to wait a long time to finally get it. It took an extremely long time to get the fish tacos delivered to the table.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
763 reviews
Dined on 27 October 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Came for brunch. Great selections. The bartender also waited on tables so the refills were a little slow.

E
Excellent
Los Angeles
37 reviews
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience3

Great place to eat; we wish it was closer to home!

FAQs

El Torito - Pasadena does offer delivery in partnership with Postmates and Uber Eats. El Torito - Pasadena also offers takeaway which you can order by calling the restaurant at (626) 351-8995.

El Torito - Pasadena is rated 4.1 stars by 62 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting bookings at the moment.