Friday, May 13, 2011


Vintage Photo Friday
El Cholo on Western Ave., 1937

Tomorrow, we're meeting up with friends for dinner at El Cholo Restaurant on Western Avenue in Los Angeles. The only time I go to El Cholo is when Mary Jo's sister, Rosalie is in town. This place is the original American-Style Gringo Mexican restaurant. It's been at this particular location since 1931. The restaurant actually started in 1923!

Check out those vintage prices!

When I was a kid my family used to go to El Coyote on Beverly Blvd. and El Carmen on 3rd St. for our taco fix.
I first had dinner at El Cholo when I was a USC student. It was a famous USC hangout. In those days, there weren't any nice places around SC except for the Trojan Barrel and Carl's Bad Tavern. Of course, there were smaller dives like Orange Leonard's, the coffee shop at the Vagabond Motel, the Sub-Station, El Rey's (the home of the garbage burrito) and Fernando and Hope's over on Santa Barbara Street (now called MLK Blvd.). Am I dating myself? Now, with the gentrification of University Park, USC has many fine eating establishments nearby.

El Cholo - 1952

I digress. El Cholo has expanded mucho over the years. They claim to have "invented" many Mexican-American classic dishes. Read about the history here. The food is fine for what it is. The margaritas are excellent!! The atmosphere is lively and the place is ALWAYS packed. I'm looking forward to our historical dinner with good friends.

El Cholo Restaurant, today
Vintage photos courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library Archives

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At 4:20 PM PDT, Anonymous Allan CLair said...

It's still a great USC hangout. Check it out after a home football game,

At 8:47 PM PDT, Blogger Abby Hansen said...

My mother was a bartender at the original El Cholo for a long time, along with two of her current co-workers!

My mom even treated my college graduation party to El Cholo margaritas!

Do you remember Carmen? She waitressed there for decades..


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