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Feb 13, 2008 06:22 AM

Beto's Grill?

A new Mexican restaurant opened in Temple City, land of the few dining places, called Beto's Grill. Has anyone tried this yet and if so, what's your opinion? Thanks.

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  1. Not really new, been around now for nearly a year I think.

    It's ok - nothing to go out of the way for. From what I understand, there's a live mariachi band on either Friday or Saturday, or maybe both.

    I think recently they added an "all-you-can-eat" feature, but I'm not sure it's anything more significant than what would be offered at, say, Alcapulco.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Thanks. Actually, this is a branch of the one in San Gabriel (I haven't been there, either) and it just opened this week. It is on Temple City Blvd. just south of Las Tunas, where Celesste Restaurant used to be (which I never tried either and I guess not enough other people tried).

      1. re: monkuboy

        Got it. Sorry for the confusion.

        I'm surprised Celeste lasted as long as it did. Every time I would pass by it would be empty.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          One of my wife's friends said it was pretty good, too (Celesste, that is). I never saw anyone in there plus it is very hard to notice. It didn't look like a restaurant at all. The new Beto's Grill has a sign in big, bold bright letters so it is more noticeable. And according to the Temple City newspaper, the old place was "Celesste" with two "s" which I thought was weird.

    2. We have been there several times and we like the food a lot. They have 3 female mariachis on Thursday night and they sing beautifully and go to each table for requests. They have a small lunch buffet from Mon - Fri and it''s good. Their beans are very good which in my estimation is the sign of a good Mexican restaurant. Their civiche is part of the buffet and with the chips is very satisfying. They make a delicious breaded sea bass dish that is a favorite (filete empanizado on the menu). We have taken several of our "Mexican" friends and family there and they all like it as much as we do. The only problem is that it is small. The servers are great, the owner makes it a point to come to your table to see if he can do any more for you and they have a lady making the most delicious corn tortillas. Guacamole is excellent, what more do you want? P.S. Great albondigas for you fans.

      11 Replies
      1. re: Neta

        Sounds worthy of a try, especially for the ceviche and handmade corn tortillas. Are they planning to get a liquor license?

        Celesste must've looked quite non-descript -- I live in TC and have never noticed it!

        1. re: Waverly SGV

          They do serve beer and I believe wine cocktails.

          1. re: Neta

            I'll settle for either. Thanks for the rec...I'm there!

          2. re: Waverly SGV

            Regarding Celesste, you would never know there was a restaurant there and as far as I know they did no advertising. I only knew about it through my wife's friend and even then, I had to look carefully to find the place when driving past. The article in the paper said the owner of that place was renting the space to Beto's Grill.

            1. re: monkuboy

              Celesste was right next to a dry cleaner's and think a watch repair store. it is an odd location for a restaurant.

              As an aside the sushi joint directly across the street, The Sushi, is pretty good for a neighborhood joint.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Isn't that funny...I've patronized both the jewelry store and the dry cleaners, but never noticed Celesste! I heard The Sushi is pretty good, but it seems so isolated. When are we going to get some decent restaurants in TC???!

                1. re: Waverly SGV

                  Well even if some decent places to open up, that doesn't mean we will be able to find them, haha. There's only two places we go to in TC, Hanabi and Mandarin Deli. Decent Japanese food and very nice folks at Hanabi, and very good food at Mandarin Deli.

                  1. re: monkuboy

                    There are some other places worth trying in Temple City; some of my favorites include:

                    San Sui Tei
                    Won Won Kitchen
                    Dai Ho Restaurant
                    Dumpling House
                    Seafood Village
                    Tenju Tea House

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Oh I forgot about Dumpling House. We like that very much. I didn't really care for San Sui Tei, haven't been to Seafood VIllage since they changed owners a couple of years ago, and haven't been to the others at all. Thanks for the recs!

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        i concur on Dai Ho

                        Dai Ho Restaurant
                        9148 Las Tunas Dr, Temple City, CA 91780

                        1. re: kevin

                          Dai Ho's incessant price increases coupled with what seems like smaller and smaller portions makes it more and more less appealing.

                          Dai Ho Restaurant
                          9148 Las Tunas Dr, Temple City, CA 91780

          3. I live a couple of blocks away from this new restaurant, and on Saturday, February 16, 2008, we decided to try it out. Yes, this is the same location where Celeste's had been. Like others, I am not surprised Celeste's is gone, they had elusive hours, poor marketing (or should I say none) and quite frankly a pretty high priced menu for pretty standard fare.

            Back to Beto's ... we were very pleasantly surprised. The interior is simple, approximate a dozen free standing tables that can be pushed together to accommodate groups larger than 4. My eye caught the "B" rating from the County Heath Department right away. I asked to find that the place had been open since the Monday before. Their menu shows beer and wine, but at this point, they are waiting for the license to come through, so only non-alcoholic beverages right now. Their menu does tout their Sangria, however.

            The menu is very nice, easy to read, and has some clear pictures of the food, but not for every entry. Most menu items are in Spanish, with a very clear description in English of the dish. While they have some standard Mexican fare (Taco's, burritos, etc) they also have some specialties.

            Salsa and Chips were delivered to the table along with the menus. The Salsa was hand made, and I thought it was very good.

            At our table, we ordered the whole Talapia, and the Shrimps in Chipolte. There was a choice of soup or salad. I chose the soup, and of the two selections of soup, I ordered the Tortilla Soup. I think the soup could have been a bit hotter (temperature wise that is). One spoonful, however, and I was immediately transformed with a big smile on my face. It seems the chef actually seasons his creations. Regretfully, so many reasonable priced restaurants try so hard to make their food for "everyone" that they pretty much serve bland food without appropriate seasonings, not the case here!

            Then comes the entry Servings were very generous on large glass platters made to look like fish. The Talapia was accompanied with refried beans and some rice. The fish itself, was fried crisp and sprinkled with cooked garlic and herbs. IT was served with your choice of corn or flour tortillas, I chose corn.

            Again, the food was perfectly seasoned. My wife had the salad, which I must admit, I did not pay a lot of attention to, and she ordered the shrimp with Chipoltie. It came accompanied with fresh steamed vegetables. Her shrimp were skewered with a spicy chipolte sauce over them.

            WE were all very pleased with our meals. The only negative of the evening was the sound system. The music being played was soft at first, then became so loud, you could not talk with anyone at your table. When the waitress came to take our order, she even asked, "do you think the music might be too loud". My response to her question was "What?" ... She got the hint.

            When we arrived, there were perhaps two other tables with guests. By the time we left, there was only one other empty table.

            If they remain consistent, they will definitely have our business. There are very few "non-Asian" sit down restaurants in Temple City. While I love good Asian food, I am thrilled to have another choice.

            I consider this a moderately priced restaurant. I asked, and understand it is a second restaurant with the original in San Gabriel (just West of Temple City).

            4 Replies
            1. re: tguyde

              Are you sure of your time line? We are talking about Beto's next to the KFC on Las Tunas? We have been going to this restaurant for at least 8 months and we have been ordering domestic beer and wine margaritas. I agree with your assessment of the food. We really enjoy it. If you like fish, try the filete empanizado, it is so good.

              1. re: Neta

                No, Beto's on Temple City Boulevard, about 1/2 block south of Las Tunas.

                It is odd to open up a second locale literally 2 miles from the original. Maybe it's the Starbucks strategy at work ... who knows.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Thanks for clarifying that for me. Thought maybe one too many!!!!!!!!

              2. re: tguyde

                Thank you for the detailed review, tguyde. It certainly sounds like a place worth visiting! We drove past there on Saturday and noticed quite a few people sitting in there in the mid-afternoon.

              3. Revived this thread since it seems to be the only one on this place and it's a couple years old. We stopped in for an early dinner tonight (Las Tunas location, in San Gabriel). I'm going to say it was pretty uneven but had some strong points.

                Though it's billed as a seafood place, the camarones I ordered were distinctly muddy-tasting and (I thought) freezer-burned. Maybe I'm imagining it, but these were some tired shrimp. Sauce was ok, certainly not the eye-watering experience of a la diabla of Mariscos Chente, but more of a mellow tang to it. Based on the above posts, I guess fish may be the way to go here? Anyway, the rice and steamed veggies were both fine.

                Wife's enchiladas (shredded beef, cheese) were outstanding, however, as was the homemade vegetable soup, homemade salsa (and good fresh chips), and refried beans that actually tasted like something - maybe stock or extra garlic? This was one of the better shredded beef enchiladas I've had.

                A couple annoyances - ordered corn tortillas which looked and tasted like they were pulled right out of the Mission (or whatever) bag and microwaved, even as they had a woman hand-making flour tortillas right out front, next to the (broken, see below) cash register. I guess if I were running a restaurant, which I'm not, I'd say something like, "ya know, I'll give you corn, but the tortillas being made by this woman over my left shoulder are flour, and they're hand-made". But they were probably just busy.

                Next annoyance - the cheese enchilada came to the table cold on the inside and unmelted. Again, if it were me, I'd consider serving a melted cheese enchilada to my customers. Not a huge crime, and they were nice enough to put together a whole new plate when I sent it back. So make-up points there.

                And finally, I guess they're still working on learning how to use the new touch-screen register, since it took about long 10 minutes to get change as I stood juggling a carseat and a crying baby. And yes, we had to ask a couple times for the check in what was a tiny place with more than one server (and just 3 occupied tables).

                As for the drinks, it looks like just beer and wine, but I may be wrong. No sign of mariachis, but that's probably a good thing - it would be absolutely deafening. That said, this is one of the better San Gabriel/Alhambra/TC Mexican options we've found (the place on Garfield and Mission isn't bad either, as a simple taqueria), and had I had a couple beers with dinner as opposed to a couple bored/whiny kids, I probably would've had a better time.