My BFF Rebecca took me here to celebrate my belated birthday, and her daughter’s 15th. El Farolito is located off the 57 freeway /Chapman off quiet Bradford Street. There’s street parking and a private lot parking.
Let’s start off with the food. Delicious! I couldn’t stop eating it. A+ for their food. I would recommend the food, but if you tend to substitute your food items, you will find they are not flexible here. There were surcharge reminders printed all over the menu, letting you know they’ll tack on a fee if you choose to go outside the status quo and ask for substitutions. Their combo plate was so full of substitution charges, I gave up trying to figure out what was considered standard pricing.
I had the 2 item combo: carnitas taco + chicken enchilada, which they added a 50cents per item surcharge for requesting a different meat. My friend had the shredded beef taco, while her daughter had the 1 item combo with a pork tamale… add 50 cents for picking a tamale, because that’s not part of the original “perfect combo” choices. I was surprised they didn’t tack on a fee when Gabriella asked for all rice, no beans!
Nickel and dime pricing….
The food is made to order, but you’d think they want you to snack on the chips and salsa while waiting. According to the menu there’s a charge for extra chips and for side of salsa. Does it mean the chips and salsa they started you with? or do some food items come with chips, and some people want more chips with their meal? Needless to say, with the verbiage “extra items will be charged” I didn’t want to ask for any chips!
Aside from that.. the food was delicious. Affordable? yeah, but if you include the little add-ups, my $9 meal ended up being over $11, plus a $3 horchata ($1 for refills btw).. it wasn’t that cheap in the end. Don’t go off the menu from their 2017 website. It’s outdated. They have a 40th anniversary menu available, and the prices went up a buck.
5 stars for food
3 stars for service
2 annoyed stars for the nickel and diming of prices on the menu
= a 3 1/2 star review.