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Feb 20, 2010 10:49 PM

El Cholo La Habra: BLECHHHHH!!!!!!

My sister and I have visited the original El Cholo in Los Angeles several times, and we've loved it. So we thought we'd try something a little different, the La Habra branch, tonight.

It started with the salsa. Watery, akin to thin tomato sauce with a few pieces of onion and leaves of cilantro.

We ordered two El Cholo Margaritas (on the rocks, the way we like them). Not very good-tasting.

We then had two Caesar salads. We usually love Caesars, but we concluded that we can make better Caesar salad than this at home (and we do). No real taste of garlic or parmesan cheese at all. We barely finished half.

Then came the entrees. I had the Blue Corn Chicken Enchiladas, and my sister had the Lobster and Seafood Enchiladas with Lobster Sauce - a "special" of the night. Neither one of our enchiladas had much flavor, and the beans and rice tasted like nothing! (How can a Mexican restaurant come up with such bland-tasting food!!!!) And everything was so heavy, it landed like concrete in our stomachs. It's been a couple of hours now, and mine is still hurting. Nevertheless, we decided (against better judgement) to take half of the dinners home.

Well, we got out of there with our wallets a little over $60 lighter. The second we pulled in to our driveway, we took the styrofoam containers and threw them in the trash.

Oh well, you win some, you lose some --

El Cholo
840 E Whittier Blvd, La Habra, CA 90631

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  1. i've completely given up on ALL el cholos. started going in the late sixties, when there was only one, and loved it. especially the chile rellenos. when they started opening other locations, went to pasadena (was close to my home at the time) and did not care for it. went back to the original, it was better, but still not as good as the olden days. my sister went last week (to the original) and was very disappointed. i stopped going 2-3 years ago.

    the good news, though, is that they did give out their relleno recipe and it can be found on line. we've made it - not hard - and they come out great!

    1. El Cholo everywhere is pretty disappointing in my experience. I've been a handful of times and they get progressively worse in quality and service. Aside from wanting to eat in a more formal setting, I'd choose Carnitas Michoacan or some other stand or truck than any chain Mexican restaurant in town for good Mexican food.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mrshankly

        That's just it, though - sometimes we like to go to a "prettier" Mexican restaurant. And we live in San Bernardino, which makes some of the West L.A. places more of a trek for us.

        1. re: aurora50

          Give Don Cuco in Glendale or Burbank a try. It's similar to the El Cholo vibe but with more consistent food and service. If you're a fan of molé, La Casita Mexicana has some good eats to try as well.

          1. re: mrshankly

            Thanks, mrshankly! I'll check them out.

      2. A lot of people don't know that El Cholo used to make cheese enchilada TV dinners back in the late 60's early 70's sold in supermarkets, they were wonderful.

        1 Reply
        1. re: malibumike

          Wow! I don't remember that, but then I was just a teenager, not interested in that kind of thing at that time. : )