El Torito - Santa Monica

4.1
133 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 133 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
4.1
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
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D
David
London
11 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall1food1service1ambience1

No attention by staff. Rushed to order before we even read the menu. Then, followup to check on how things were. Food was tasteless -- not what I expected based upon reviews. Maybe we did not order any margaritas. And, pricey for what we received. Disappointing.

l
lucile
1 review
Dined on 23 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very accommodating service .
We enjoyed our birthday party.

MR
MarR
1 review
Dined on 18 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

All personnel were nice and friendly. Nice atmosphere.

El Torito - Santa Monica
Responded 5 days ago

Thank you for your feedback. We hope to see you again soon! – Xperience Restaurant Group

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AC
AliciaC
1 review
Dined on 9 July 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The service is excellent! The staff very attentive.

RB
RhondaB
1 review
Dined on 7 July 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience2

I have been to this restaurant several times, but I will not return again. The food has gone downhill. My food was dry and they used to cover my meal with cheese. There were just a few slivers of cheese on everything. The service was terrible. It Took a long time for us to get our food. Every time I’ve been there in the past we got our food much quicker and they were many more people in the restaurant. There were hardly any other customers, yet the service was slow. I was very disappointed with how bad this restaurant has gotten.

JT
JasmineT
Dallas
3 reviews
Dined on 4 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food was delicious, the ambiance was intimate but also lively. And parking was so convenient.

C
Caliwalker
Los Angeles
20 reviews
Dined on 3 July 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience5

First time taking mom to a restaurant since pandemic. The outdoor seating was full for all res from 4 to 9 pm so we ate inside. Occupied tables were well spaced apart, and servers were all masked up so we felt comfortable. Mom enjoyed the margaritas! Everyone enjoyed their meals & our server was very helpful and friendly. The service was slow but we chalked that up to lack of staffing that I keep hearing about due to covid. Would go back.

a
vipalishac
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on 2 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 27 June 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Had Sunday brunch and it was delicious!

A
vipAnita
Los Angeles
69 reviews
Dined on 20 June 2021
Overall1food1service3ambience1

I'm usually happy with most dining experiences, but Sunday at El Torito was very disappointing. The greeter wanted to seat us at a table that was in a entry way, so we asked to be seated in the main dining room. He showed us the table and said a server could cover this section in 30 minutes. Why in the world would that be acceptable? So he showed us another acceptable table although it was adjacent to the busing station which added to the noise. As for food, a cold steak the was inedible and soggy salad was lifeless. The chicken and carnitas fajitas were wonderful as usual. And our server was efficient.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 20 June 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience2

Our original server apparently had to many tables to handle on Fathers Day. I ended up getting another waiter to tend to us. This particular El Torito must be under new management because this is second time there and service is sub-par.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 20 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went to celebrate Father’s Day n we really enjoyed the experience

KN
KenjiN
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 13 June 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

It was good. Only problem we had was they didn't have our reservation but there was plenty of seating.

DR
DominicR
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 30 May 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

It was a perfect Sunday,the service was good and the ambiance was calm and inviting. We loved our experience and will be back.

GG
GiaG
1 review
Dined on 28 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

food was excellent, service was good, although busy.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 26 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fast seating , prompt service and sweet waitress food was nice and hot even though we ordered an hr before the kitchen closed. This is the best el torito I’ve been too so far.

NN
NomNomEatEmUp
1 review
Dined on 23 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this place. I come here often and will continue to do so and bring my friends.

MJ
MattJB
1 review
Dined on 23 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everyone was so nice and helpful and the food was delicious! Was our first time doing brunch and it was worth it

j
vipjtcnaples
Washington DC
24 reviews
Dined on 22 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So amazing - freshness of the food!

MR
MRWST
1 review
Dined on 21 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our experience was incredible! Our server, Victor, had wonderful energy and made sure we were taken care of without leaving us hanging. The margaritas were delish and the fajita platter was the perfect amount of food to feed four! We will most certainly be back.

RD
RobinD
1 review
Dined on 16 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had there Sunday brunch. Everything was delicious. My friends and I really enjoyed it.

m
macbones
Los Angeles
35 reviews
Dined on 14 May 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience2

I'm sorry to say our experience was mostly disappointing. One plate of tacos arrived cold, the gin/tonic tasted off, we were charged for an extra margarita, our server was a long time between visits, the food was really salty. The extra charges were taken care of and the cold meal was taken off the bill so I will say that it was managed well. Just wish the experience had been better.

They did do a great job of cleaning and keeping patrons separate, everyone was really nice.

FO
vipFOODFREAK
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on 9 May 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience2

Service and food quality was horrible. Guacamole had too much onion and was bland. No taste other than onions. Buffalo wings were hard to bit. Overcooked. We decided to leave the restaurant for dinner elsewhere.

MR
MichelleR
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 9 May 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Worst place ever do not go there all staff is rude

MB
MichelleB
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 9 May 2021
Overall2food4service1ambience2

Not really good custom service except the waiter and the guy who took us to are table

MG
MartaG
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 9 May 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Waiter was awesome ,quick and friendly ... loved it

AA
AlanA
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on 9 May 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience2

The buffet was a bit chaotic, lines formed in a small area - not desirable when you are trying to be safe. I had reservations, but had to wait 25 minutes. The hostess did her best but was negatively impacted by the manager who was seating people seemingly arbitrary. That was causing issues with the people waiting and with reservations. The manager would have been more effective to oversee the buffet.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on 7 May 2021
Overall5food1service5ambience5

My birthday but the food was cold

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on 5 May 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

They did not honor my reservation and told us it would be an hour wait when they got there because they overbooked on open table.

C
Celi
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 2 May 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Food tasted good, but it was cold. We had an early reservation, so don’t know why it was cold??? Also, the omelette, wasn’t an omelette. They didn’t mix it-it was a flat egg and vegetables tossed in the middle! Glad we went early, cause by 11am, wayyy too many people.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Phoenix
4 reviews
Dined on 30 April 2021
Overall1food1service2ambience2

Had the fajitas, steak was entirely too bland . The queso at the moment only had pork in it which was a bust because I don’t eat pork . The guacamole was actually amazing unless I was just really hungry . Other than that Just a very basic Mexican restaurant . Not terrible but I wouldn’t go again

Z
vipZeevee
Los Angeles
24 reviews
Dined on 30 April 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Hits the spot, good drinks, good price

M
Michellee
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on 27 April 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Server was friendly. I had to send my meal back and they were very accommodating to provide a replacement.

S
Stephi
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on 27 April 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Taco Tuesday is a good deal!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 25 April 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Just a date with my man. We loved the brunch!!!! Great customer service.

TG
TracyG
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on 24 April 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Our servers made a birthday celebration even more special with their attentiveness & enthusiasm. The margaritas were very good & the carnitas were outstanding. Thank you for quite a memorable meal!

DK
DebbyK
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 23 April 2021
Overall2food3service2ambience1

Service was sub par and the food mediocre. Feels like eating at a chain restaurant.

J
Jackie
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 20 April 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

I was so satisfied and had a great time hear everyone was respectful and the food is amazing. Would definitely be back again

JM
JMD92
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on 6 April 2021
Overall4food4service2ambience4

I have always had a great experience here but this time they seemed very understaffed unfortunately. It was a long time between each check in by the waitstaff and we ended up being there for almost 2 hours mostly due to waiting for food/drinks to arrive. Besides that, can’t be the happy hour prices!

KR
KarlaR
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 4 April 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Brunch buffet was organized very nicely. I felt safe and found my time there quite enjoyable

FAQs

El Torito - Santa Monica does offer delivery in partnership with Postmates and Uber Eats. El Torito - Santa Monica also offers takeaway which you can order by calling the restaurant at (310) 450-8665.

El Torito - Santa Monica is rated 4.1 stars by 133 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.