El Que


It's been a while since we visited El Que, The Elk's oft forgotten about little brother. "People forget about it?!", you may ask, and apparently they do. We were there on a relatively balmy Sunday afternoon, and the place was for all intents and purposes empty. Neighboring The Elk, Italia Trattoria, Pacific Ave Pizza, and even Tully's were hopping, while El Que was kinda just hanging out in the corner, like a detached hipster kid.

That's a bit sad, really, as there are good things going on at El Que. It hasn't changed much since our last visit, but this is a good location as far as porch seating in Browne's Addition goes, and we'd recommend it for a quick drink and some food to go with it.

Other than the selection of tequilas, the beer is served in cans and bottles. I'd personally prefer to see taps, but c'est la vie. That you have to ask for a glass is a bit less awesome, mind you.

The food is still good, though, again, probably not something that'll lure you away from Guerrero. Trying the chile relleno during our last visit, it was pretty good for what it was. That it was served without the standard batter was a bit odd, but hey, peppers stuffed with cheese is nothing to scoff at all the same, and it was fresh tasting.

As for the service, well... That famous The Elk level of it is here. You're not going to want to hug the staff as you leave. Not that they're downright unfriendly, just a bit impatient.

We like El Que. The individual parts of it might not be top of the class, but add them together in the location, and the spot is well worth visiting. 

Original February 22, 2010 review

We took our sweet time getting there, but we finally got around to check out El Que (1931 W Pacific Ave), the Elk’s “taco truck” style restaurant with a crazy amount of tequilas to choose from. And while this in no way replaces spots like Tacos Tumbras for traditional tacos, there definitely is room for El Que in the rotation.

To start with the tequila. I, for the most part, don’t like it much. Other than a delicious Santo tequila liquor, I just have bad memories and associations with tequila. But they do have 23 to choose from, and if you like the stuff, I’m sure it’d go just fine with their food.

As for the food, it’s definitely good. Maybe not great, but good. Their “Vietnamese guacamole” has a nice flavor to it—though it’s a tad too thin—and is served with what has to be De Leon tortilla chips. (Or an extremely close clone.) For $6 you also get a lot of chips, so we’re talking a good bang for the buck here.

Tacos, meanwhile, are $3 a pop, which seems a tad too expensive seeing Tumbras serve better ones at half price. Not that El Que’s tacos are bad, but I did miss a second tortilla with the tacos. The al pastor was good, though, and if you’re hanging out, drinking some Mexican beers or tequila, then El Que’s tacos are worthwhile.