…so, let’s eat!


1922 – Alejandro Borquez pushes back from the dinner table and says to his beautiful young bride, Rosa,”You are such a good cook we should open up a restaurant”

1923 – The Borquezes open the Sonora Cafe in a small storefront on Broadway and Santa Barbara Avenue (near the Coliseum).

1925 – A guest wanders in for dinner and while he is waiting for his dinner draws a figure of a man on the menu and calls him “EL CHOLO”.  (In those days the name given their field hands by the Spanish settlers in California). History is made when Alejandro likes the man and the name and immediately changes SONORA CAFE to EL CHOLO CAFE.

Okay, so again, I was without knowledge of all things El Cholo! This authentic Mexican restaurant has 6 locations total in Los Angeles and Orange County California. I was doing the Saturday errands and had to make a stop at my cousins’. I told her that I couldn’t stay for a visit because I’d been out all morning and was very hungry. I asked her to tell me the name of the restaurant that she mentioned was near her and that she frequented weekly with her Mom. She said with the most surprised look, ‘you mean El Cholo’s? You’ve never been to or heard of El Cholo?’ Just as surprised, I answered back, ‘no, is it a good place or something?’ She said, ‘okay let me put my shoes on because we’re going now!’ I told her that I wasn’t dressed for dining in, but she assured me that my attire was fine. She took me to the original location in Los Angeles on Western and I was thoroughly pleased from start to finish, so much so that I visited the location near me in Santa Monica a few days later! Within minutes of being seated, we had hot homemade tortilla chips and fresh salsa on our table (which we devoured almost instantly). On the way to the restaurant, my cousin kept talking about how good the Chicken Enchiladas were and that she would most likely order that meal. I decided on the Sonora Nachos with ground beef with a side of rice and beans. ‘Oh my’, were my first words after taking a bite and then there was the table side guacamole…..I had no words after sampling that yumminess! El Cholo is also known for their margaritas, however, since I had more errands to run, my cousin and I decided that we would return for the full experience soon! There were a couple of diners seated near us that ordered the most aromatic dish that was a complete presentation when it was delivered to their tables. It was the sizzling seafood fajita platter with jumbo shrimp, scallops and a large lobster tail. My cousin and I looked at each other and the sizzling platters and shook our heads with delight because we were too busy enjoying our meals. By the way, the Chicken Enchiladas were so amazing and the enchilada sauce, I could drink it! Not for nothing, but whenever you visit, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the Sonora Nachos with ground beef, I was more than stuffed and completely satisfied! It was so much food, that we both had to go containers as well as takeout orders for our cousins that called during our meal requesting a meal of their own. When we finally finished our dinners, we decided that we would have to make this a monthly visit so that we can taste all of the margaritas and all of the authentic Mexican fare! I wrote about this restaurant on social media and friends as far away as Arizona, commented on how they love the restaurant and was quite surprise to find out that I was clueless about it! Well, the second basket of chips are here and we just cannot allow them to cool……napkins down, no need for forks, chips up and ready to dip……so, let’s eat!

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