Kirbie's Cravings

El Torito

El Torito
8910 Villa La Jolla Drive
La Jolla, Ca 92037

I used to come to this restaurant whenever I was craving warm chips and fresh salsa or steak fajitas.  I also have been here a few times for happy hour.  The appetizers are half off during happy hour, but the service is just about non-existent, so I stopped going for happy hour.

I don’t come as often anymore because I haven’t been very happy with my food the last few times I went and the prices have gone up.  However, if you sign up for their e-mail club, you get to have a free entree for your birthday.  They send you a coupon which is good for about two weeks.  So last week, we went to El Torito so I could use up my free birthday entree coupon.

This place usually isn’t full, so we didn’t have to wait, even on a Saturday night.  Once seated, we were immediately served warm chips and salsa.

The chips and salsa were yummy, but they were quickly polished off and no one came back to refill them.

Boyfriend was in the mood for a margarita, and ordered one.  I don’t remember what it was called.  It came with a fancy little presentation.  It was pretty strong.

For his entree, Boyfriend ordered the Macho Combo.  It’s a lot of food and a nice variety of items: enchilada, tamale, chile rellano, and crispy taco .

One of my brothers ordered a combo plate, with two tacos and an enchilada.

Brother’s girlfriend ordered the carnitas.

Other brother ordered the calamari fajitas.  With the calamari served separately from the side items and the tortillas, it looked like a lot of food.

Unfortunately, this dish didn’t taste as good as it looked.  The breaded calamari had a very fishy taste to it.

Sister ordered the new fajitas combo on the chef’s special menu.  It comes with steak and chicken fajitas, an enchilada, and sides, only $10.99!

For my birthday dinner entree, I ordered the fajitas supreme.  It comes with chicken, steak and shrimp fajitas.

This used to be my favorite item on the menu.  However, it no longer tastes as good to me.  The shrimp has a weird, salty sauce.  They no longer flame the fajitas with tequila, which they used to do at the table for you.  Also, the steak fajitas which used to be so flavorful, are smaller and oilier than before.  Even the little corn cake, which I used to love, tasted a little off that night.

All in all, a bit of a disappointment.  Server was really nice though except for not refilling our chips.

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4 comments on “El Torito”

  1. joanh- I enjoy their corn cakes too! I’m surprised there isn’t an El Torito-like restaurant in Taipei. They seem to have everything else like Macaroni Grill, TGIF, etc.

  2. maybe they were having an off night. what I wouldn’t do for an El Torito-like restaurant in Taipei. I love their corn cakes and fresh guac!

  3. Hi Carol. Yeah, it’s too bad about El Torito’s quality of food going down. The raised prices doesn’t help either.

  4. It’s been so long since I’ve been to El Torito for the same reason you mentioned. Their food just got so blah. But the Cadillac margaritas are still pretty tasty. Hope you had a good birthday!