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Our Latest Reviews
Great fish tacos fried perfectly
Good flautas. The meat was delicious and even though there's only meat it was very flavorful.
Beef fajitas were spot on! I ordered this for pick up and it came with all the fixings (rice, beans, guacamole, chips/salsa, and tortillas). Service for pick up was convenient and fast. I will definitely be ordering fajitas again!
Sooooooooooooo good. Best carne asada around!!
The best Pibil I have ever had. This place serves authentic Yucatan dishes that never disappoint. The staff is exceptional; always friendly and smiling. The tequila selections are amazing, they have the best Cadillac margarita I have ever had. This is my go-to place to take friends and family.
I have been coming to El Portal for 15 years. It's my group of friends favorite place. I've tried many things over that period. The combination of chili relleno and a tamale are my favorite. This is certainly due to the flavor but, most importantly, the love it is served with. The packed restaurant is a testament that many agree.
Absolutely love the shrimp enchiladas! Fresh flavors, large portions, and absolutely delicious!!
Most places allow me to award 5 stars. I would give El Portal 10, if I could. There are only two other places to go for Mexican food: Mexico and San Diego. Anywhere north of those two, El Portal is the best there is, hands down. Why? First of all, let me say I have been eating Mexican food all my adult life, first in New York at El Parador, which was the best NY had to offer in Mexican food in the 1970s and then at the brief but stellar Beach House in Tribeca in the '80s. To this day, no one has made enchiladas and black beans better than the Beach House. But, I have also been dining in California since the late '70s and tried all the famous Mexican restaurants multiple times. I still remember the Red Onion fondly and of course I have been to El Cholo multiple times. El Portal is better than those two and all the others. There is simply no debate. Firstly, the atmosphere is pure Mexico. I've been to Mexico frequently and I cannot see a major difference. In fact, it reminds me of restaurants in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico and Barcelona too. And I only say that as a point of comparison. It is lovely inside, cozy, warm, clean. At Christmas -- and I make sure to dine at El Portal at least once every year during the holidays -- there is a beautiful Christmas tree and a roaring fire. The interior is beautiful. There is a nice bar. I don't drink but there are free chips, salsa and cheese as well as other bar snacks and most of my dinner companions rave about the Margaritas. The menu is extensive. I have sampled a bit of everything (sin carne, naturalmiente) but my consistent favorite is the cheese enchiladas with mole sauce, black beans and rice, with guacamole. The chips and salsa are always fresh. Having lived in South America for three years, I am aware of the practice of putting out pico de gallo on every table, fresh every day. El Portal does this as well, and offers various bottled hot sauces. The service is always friendly. The owner is often at the front door and greets each patron as they enter, and often bids them goodbye at the end. There is outdoor seating for warmer weather and a dessert cafe across the path in the charming arcade where El Portal is located. Parking is convenient in the back. What more can you ask?
My husband and I came here because I craving a chile relleno. El Portal never disappoints! The chile relleno was delicious and paired with authentically made rice and beans. The plates are very generous and will surely satisfy your taste buds. Pair your dinner with their Ultimate Margarita and all will be well in the world! :)
I ordered the Menu #1 Taco Bar from El Portal for our recent office party and we were all very pleased with how fresh the food was. We ordered the carne asada and grilled chicken; they were both well seasoned and had the authentic Mexican flavor we all hoped for. I have to mention the salsa because I love spice and the hot salsa can go on anything. The cheese enchiladas were nice and cheesy and the red sauce they were in was extremely delicious. Their service and great food made a life long customer!!!
Enchiladas Suiza de Pollo
You got to try this for sure!! Omg. It's bomb.com. I love these weekly specials at el portal. I've been here for more than 20 times now and I must say I loved each and every dish I tried. Also the nacho chips and salsa they serve before you order is absolutely amazing! You will know when you come here, so stop by and experience the ultimate Mexican food wohooo!
Pumpkin soup is the best. I hope they keep it through December...yummy!
This was the best Pumpkin Soup I've ever had, We have been back 3 times. This special soup should be added to the regular menu! The Tequila selection and portions are the best in Pasadena. I'm a fan of all the food I've had at El Portal. John
I have been enjoying the cochinita pibil here for the last 19 years! The pork is always cooked perfectly (never dry) and the pickled red onions pull everything together. I actually crave this dish and look forward to it. The customer service is always amazing; they make you feel like family.
Chili relleno was super yummy with black beans. Best black beans ever. They have the best salsa in Pasadena Service was excellent.
It's so fresh you would think they have an avocado tree on the premises!
My favorite Mexican salad! Delicious chicken, onions, cheese, and dressing. A great choice if you don't want something too heavy, but still filling!
You won't find better Panuchos any place except, maybe in the Yucatan! They are muy deliciosos!!!
Best tostada in town. The chicken is really moist and the dressing is a nice addition. Or eat it without the dressing and add salsa. Yum!
The carnitas plate at El Portal is one of my favorite anywhere. Perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection. Tender with just the right amount of salty goodness to make my eyes cross. I have happily been coming to El Portal for over 20 years. With restaurants reopening, do to COVID, I decided that El Portal would be my first restaurant to visit since the lock down started mid March. I was not disappointed. I sat outside in the patio in a booth. Mijares may have been around for over 100 years but if you ask me. I really don't know why. The quality of El Portal's food excels Mijares by miles hands down. Owner Abel Ramirez makes you feel welcome and will usually walks around and ask how everything was.
No longer is number 13 unlucky! You will thank your lucky stars from the first bite. We ordered the shreaded beef for both the taco and enchilada - beef is so tender with amazing seasoning - literally melts in you mouth. The chile relleno is definitely the best I have ever had - would come for them alone. We did take out for Father's Day (my 89 year old father's choice), and had excellent, accurate fast service. Thank you for making our holiday meal so delicious and special. We will return soon!
This is a wonderful dish, always tasty. The portion is huge so unless I am sharing, it is enough for dinner and lunch the next day. I highly recommend giving it a try next time you are eating in, or ordering take-out, which is what we did a few weeks ago. Yum!
First time I tried El Porto and it was excellent. The food was fresh with just the right amount of spice and was packaged extremely well. Of course, because of the pandemic, it had to be take-out and I was just a bit concerned that it would be wanting by time I got home, but it was not. I was concerned everything would be on one plate, meshed together and would warm up to a soupy glob of mess. Going to definitely go there again. A try Southwestern Flavor Adventure.
One of my favorite treats at any Restaurant in Pasadena! We've been going to El Portal for more than 15 years and always have a great experience. Their enchiladas de mole are fantastic fresh and after being delivered, and actually reheat really well the next day if refrigerated over night. Abel and his team are the best in the biz :-)
The mole is the best that we've ever had, tastes homemade. It is a comfortingly thick blanket of flavor that drapes ever so seductively over the tender morsels (chicken enchilada) within. The velvety softness of the sauce complements the various spices and marries them to perfection. Don't leave any of the mole on the plate... use the rice to sop up any of the last delicious bits (you don't want them to go to waste).
It was so yummy and out of our expectations! First time to try Mexican food! My daughter loves it so much! Thxs to all!
This was delicious! Totally hit the spot and the portion was generous, so I get to look forward to enjoying it again as leftovers. As a bonus, my food came out very quickly. Will order again!
I love the Enchiladas de Mole! It's nearly impossible to find good mole at any of the other Mexican restaurants (mostly chains) in Pasadena, but this dish is done perfectly! I also love to try their specials, and in the Fall, their Pumpkin soup is the best soup I've EVER had!
We have been coming to this place since it opened and Abel invited us as his guests. We haven't stopped coming since and genuinely believe it's the best place in Pasadena for good, authentic Yucatan cuisine! Highly recommended!
Can't go wrong with the carne asada nachos. I always ask for extra beans. Goes great with your favorite soft drink or alcoholic beverage. Hits the spot each time!
My favorite carnitas in Pasadena. Always delicious and satisfying.
Our first time to eat here, won't be our last. Wonderful is just what we wanted for dinner. The drive from Upland, Ca. was worth the trip.
This is my favorite go-to meal. Best tacos and enchiladas in Pasadena and beyond! I always get the shredded beef taco and cheese enchilada combo, with sauteed fresh vegetables instead of rice, and a half portion of beans. Ooh, I'm craving it as I write this!
I had the shrimp tostada and loved it. The shrimp were fresh ( I could tell) and the tostada was light. It was very filling. I've been here a few times and have always had a good experience. Looking forward to going again soon.
The best fajitas we've ever had!! Delicious flavor and plenty for two to share. Our favorite meal at our favorite restaurant 😊
The perfect combo of fresh and satisfying! The Vegetarian Tostada is a crispy crunchy shell lined with a layer of creamy beans and filled with tender steamed veggies all topped off with refreshing lettuce, tomato, and jicama. It's the go to option for someone who wants to feel good about what they are eating while enjoying every bite.
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