The one major Mexican restaurant chain that can be counted on to expand the American concept of Mexican food is El Torito. Mondays through Fridays, they have their daily specials that include the Rib Platter described in this review. They also have a Baja Combo that goes beyond the average Baja fish taco.
Tropical tea, $2.89
El Torito has changed their menu since the last time this reviewer dined in one of their restaurants so it was enjoyable to start with a fresh brewed iced tea. For El Torito, the fresh brewed iced tea is their tropical tea. Their black tea is not fresh brewed. Pedro brought it out topped with a slice of orange. It is excellent tea.
Rib Platter, $10.00 + DDD Trio, $3.99
The DDD Trio is the upsell that added soup and mini flan to the Daily Special
El Torito’s Mexican restaurant is possibly the best place to get delicious House-Made Tortilla Soup (chicken tortilla soup). According to their online menu, they make it fresh throughout the day from chicken broth, tender chicken, garden-fresh vegetables and fresh avocado. The bowl in this review left off their jack cheese. The bite-sized chunks of chicken were tender as promised and thoroughly cooked. It is a wonderfully rich soup that was loaded with tortilla strips on the top.
Their ribs were exceptionally good, fall off the bone tender and covered in a barbecue sauce that had a hint of something different. The chef said that they make it here. The only thing he recalled off the top of his head about the ingredients that might be different is that they add orange juice. It was wonderfully sweet and thick, similar to the Kansas City barbecue sauces. It also had a mild kick though not enough to bother most diners who avoid really spicy, i.e. hot, foods.
Accompanying the ribs was corn off the cob and steak fries. The corn did taste fresh, like trimmed off the cob, and sweet. El Torito topped the corn with sour cream and queso fresco.
The mini flan was excellent. Someone very picky about flan will enjoy El Torito’s traditional house-made flan. This popular Mexican dessert is a rich vanilla custard topped with a golden caramel sauce then capped with whipped cream and a mint leaf.
Baja Combo (seafood enchilada, mahi-mahi taco and bacon wrapped shrimp), $16.99
El Torito’s chefs accommodated the request to make the seafood enchilada without cheese or sour cream. The shrimp in it were nicely firm and the sauces were delicious, making a nice addition to the mahi-mahi taco too, which was a little dry probably because of having no sour cream. The extra sauce from the enchilada provided just the right amount of moisture. Mahi-mahi is an excellent fish because it’s firm and served in thicker pieces than tilapia so it makes a substantial piece of fish that is enjoyable to eat. El Torito grills the mahi-mahi for their tacos. Another positive point is that it was fresh as there was no fishy smell..
The two bacon wrapped shrimp were delightful. The bacon had excellent flavor and was thoroughly cooked to be point of being done and crispy. These shrimp were jumbo. They were firm with a good white color. Naturally, they had more of a bacon flavor than shrimp having been cooked wrapped in bacon.
Outstanding Service and Relaxing Atmosphere
Pedro’s service was exceptional. He was attentive and knowledgeable: Pedro brought water and iced tea refills without needing to be asked. He also brought the chef out to answer a question about their barbecue sauce because he didn’t know the answer.
The West Covina El Torito is a large, spacious restaurant with most of their booths being large enough to seat six comfortably. Some tables handle even more, which is important considering how many large groups eat here.
This was a wonderful dining experience!
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El Torito Restaurant #7027
- 3133 E. Garvey North, West Covina, CA 91791
- Tel: 626-966-7516
- Fax: 626-339-2915
El Torito Website
- Monday: 11:00am – 10:00pm
- Tuesday: 11:00am – 10:00pm
- Wednesday: 11:00am – 10:00pm
- Thursday: 11:00am – 10:00pm
- Friday: 11:00am – 11:00pm
- Saturday: 11:00am – 11:00pm
- Sunday: 9:00am – 10:00pm
Find nearest locations
The West Covina El Torito Mexican restaurant location
It’s in the West Covina restaurants row on the north side of the I-10 (San Bernardino Freeway) between S. Barranca Avenue and Grand Avenue. The address is 3133 E. Garvey North, West Covina, CA 91791.
El Torito Menu
The main menu has dropdowns for the different categories of food and drink.
Special Notes from the El Torito – West Covina page
2pm – 7pm, Monday – Friday! Enjoy $5 Signature Margaritas, $4 Draft Beer, $4 Well & Wine HH Drinks, and $3 off appetizers (excluding street tacos and guacamole)
Get your Mex fix with made-to-order omelets, hand-made tortillas, fresh fruit and salads, a decked-out taco bar, and your choice of desserts & best of all bottomless mimosas. $17.99 per Adult, $6.99 per Child. Prices may vary on major holidays.
Try our Lunch Menu, Monday – Friday until 2pm! Dishes starting at $6.99!
El Torito E-Club
For frequent diners who had the previous Real Mex dining cards, those cards have been replaced by this new El Torito E-Club.