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Pepe's in Montrose

Hey people -

Does anyone have the scoop on the new, relocated Pepe's? I know that they lost their lease in La Canada over a year ago and they have been threatening to open the new place on Honolulu for many months now. I had a lot of irrational affection for the old Pepe's...anyone know when the new one will be ready? They are not answering the phone.


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  1. A few months ago, I was dining at their sister restaurant in Pasadena (Margarita's), and they even had a note taped up by the phone advising that Pepe's would re-open in March (probably to tell people who called). I guess that didn't happen? [btw, I just checked the Margarita's web site, and it still says late March for Pepe's!)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jack Flash

      I do miss Pepe's but am glad that Margarita's offers the same delicious fish tacos, so I have not been going out of my mind waiting for Pepes to open! Good to know that they are planning on re-opening!

    2. Greetings, all,

      My husband and I ran into Victor this past weekend as he and a couple others were coming out of Pepe's. He said at that time they were hoping to have a "soft opening" either tonight, Tuesday, 5/13/08, or tomorrow night, Wednesday, 5/14/08.

      You might call Margarita's first and double-check--bonne chance!

      1 Reply
      1. re: jperes167

        Just called Pepe's and they answered their phone...which is new. When asked if they were opening today, the gentleman said (with a very tentative tone) "2 days".

        They are torturing me.


        Finally opened last week (circa May14th).
        2272 Honolulu Ave in Montrose, CA is the new location of the former La Canada-Flintridge institution.

        4 Replies
        1. re: kotterface

          Yeah...we went last week. I was really disappointed and probably won't be back. The place was way too bright and had none of the warmth of the original. The food was the same, but food was only about 40% of why one went to Pepe's.

          I am coping with the loss and looking for a new Friday night place to call home - preferably with good margaritas, decent food, friendly staff, dim lighting and red booths. Travel radius includes Pasadena, Studio City, West Hollywood and downtown.

          Have tried El Arco Iris, Margaritas, Mijares, Villa Sombrero, El Compadre, Casita del Campo, El Chavo, El Coyote, La Cabanita, Lucy's El Adobe, Malo and La Golondrina - none were the baby bear home of our dreams.

          Any suggestions?

          1. re: scurvy

            Have you tried Mi Casita in Sunland. It looks like a dive but I thought the food was really good. The staff is very friendly family.

            1. re: scurvy

              Mexicali Cantina in Studio City or Senor Fred in Sherman Oaks, just west of the corner of Ventura & Woodman - better food than most of those you have listed. And Senor Fred is dark if interested in that sidebar!!!

              1. re: scurvy

                You need to check out Ernie Jr's in Eagle Rock. Delicious, cheap-o margaritas, and buckets of charm in the decor. Or, if you're ever in the area, Mexicasa in Anaheim. Now that's a gem, totally up your alley.

            2. Heard it just opened this weekend. We're heading there tonight.

              1. Hi all,
                Went to Pepe's for dinner on the 17th. Evidently a lot of people were waiting for this reopening b/c they were packed by 5:30. We (party of 4) were seated after about 10 minutes. Since they don't take reservations, the wait for others arriving later was 25-30 min. We had our old standbys, Top Shelf Margaritas on the rocks, (same as before, thank God!), hard shell carne asada and chicken tacos, and sauteed shrimp tacos. The food tasted exactly the same, with the exception of the shrimp tacos. The shrimp were noticeably smaller and they put less dressing on (probably a good thing.) The chips were a bit stale tasting. The red salsa was the same, but the green salsa was just chopped up tomatillos and onions, whereas it used to be more liquidy. The guac was the same, a bit bland and needing salt. All in all still a fun experience, even if it's no longer dark inside. The prices have gone up too. They were closed for 16 months, I think for permit problems. And we thought about them every weekend of those 16 months!! Seems like they're going to do well. I bet La Cabanita is feeling it (not far away.)

                1. They are open now - on Honolulu just east of Ocean View.

                  1. Amazing. With all the great Mexican restaurants in LA, anyone who thinks Pepe's is anything but average hasn't eaten at many of them. We went there for the first - and last - time the other day and all I can say is BORING; barely any taste and iffy service to boot. And I'm not picky!

                    La Cabinita has nothing to worry about. While L.C. isn't my favorite, either, it beats Pepe's hands down.

                    1. We had a 40th party last night and I had about 19 people there. Ordered from their tray menus rice, beans,1/2 tray chicken flautas and 1 tray cheese enchiladas chips and salsa. Each tray claims to be for 20 people. So I figure 1 1/2 trays of food will be perfect for only 19 people! Couldn't even accomodate that! I was mortified and the food was one degree away from being called cold. I specifically called Ruby to make sure the items would be delivered hot and that the trays would be enough. What does it matter if the food is tasty if when you receive it-it is cold and not enough! So embarrased in front of my guests and the dinner party would have flopped if it wasn't for the drinks we kept making!

                      1. Cannot understand what the attraction to Pepe's is? I found it boring and lacked authenticity. I will not go back. Torta's Mexico and La Cabanita are much better on all fronts.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: chowchi1

                          I would have to agree with the most recent posters after going back and trying it again for lunch over the weekend. Blech! I had a fish taco and a shrimp taco. Both of them had lots of cheddar cheese on top which I picked off--wasn't even hot enough to melt it. The fish taco had a slightly off/ammonia-ish taste and the fish was mushy. The shrimp taco was OK except for the cheese--the shrimp were nicely grilled. The guac was its usual blandness and unfortunately, we didn't have margs that day. I got my eyes opened after eating really good Mexican in Santa Barbara a few weeks ago. Won't be going back.

                        2. I waited and waited and waited for Pepe's to reopen. My husband and I would go there just about every Monday night until it closed. We were hoping to have our rehearsal dinner there last year, but they kept delaying the reopening. We started going to La Cabanita instead, and while we like the food (mole for everyone!), the drinks and atmosphere weren't as good as old Pepe's. Well, they're better than new Pepe's. Can't stand the new decor; it's trying to look upscale, when what most of us loved about Pepe's before was the "dive" aspect of it. Service isn't as good or as friendly, and we don't enjoy the food nearly as much. There's just nothing special about it any more. The Pepe's many of us knew and loved is gone, apparently forever....