El Cholo turned 95 with original recipes still on the menu

| November 1, 2018 | 0 Comments

EL CHOLO on Western Avenue.

El Cholo celebrated its 95th birthday Oct. 23, serving its all-time bestseller, the No. 1 combinacione — cheese enchilada and rolled beef taco with refried beans and Spanish beans — for its 1938 price, 95 cents. The restaurants’ (there now are six) legendary green corn tamales, made with corn off the cob, cheddar cheese and Ortega chile, were on the menu back in 1923, the year the restaurant opened. And, just like back then, the green corn tamales are served seasonally — from May to October.

Local diners can take a culinary walk down memory lane at the Western Avenue original of the family-owned restaurant business. Peruse the menu: homemade flour tortilla (1923), crabmeat enchilada (1971) and filet mignon tacos (2009).

El Cholo owners and former Windsor Square neighbors, Darlene and Ron Salisbury — once denizens of Lucerne Blvd. and participants in Wilshire Baseball — moved with their young son down to Newport Beach a number of years ago. Brendon now is 30.

Nevertheless, the flagship of the longtime business has Ron and Brendon coming back to the Larchmont Chronicle’s neighborhoods often.

Ron’s grandparents, Alejandro and Rosa Borquez, opened the first El Cholo Café in 1923 (as Sonora Café) at the corner of what was then Santa Barbara and Moneta Avenues (now Martin Luther King Blvd. and Broadway) near what is now the Memorial Coliseum.

LONG LINES filled the Western Avenue sidewalk Oct. 23, when El Cholo celebrated its 95th birthday by offering a 95-cent special.

In 1927, Ron’s mom and dad, Aurelia Borquez Salisbury and George Salisbury, opened their own El Cholo Café on Western Ave., across the street from the present location, which is a much-remodeled former bungalow to which the restaurant moved in 1931. As Ron wrote recently, “I am

happy to report it is still there and thriving quite well.”

That is an understatement. El Cholo on Western Ave., with its historic neon sign that still alerts motorists to the “El Cholo Spanish Café,” very much remains the wonderful place that thousands of local families remember as part of their lives. Our publisher has been eating there regularly since before age 3.

Still in the family

“Personally, at 85 years old and never having known life without El Cholo, it has been an incredible ride for me as well as my family,” says Ron. “The number of people with fascinating lives that I have met, known and, with some, become great friends, has been very rewarding.”

Regulars can’t get enough of El Cholo’s (1121 S. Western Ave.) original recipes and its now famous margaritas. The classic El Cholo Margarita was first poured in 1967. Another specialty, L.A. Lemonade, is hand-shaken with Cuervo 1800, Sauza Conmemorativo, Herradura Silver & Cointreau.

GRANDPARENTS of current El Cholo owner Ron Salisbury started the restaurant 10 years before Ron was born.

All the specialties also are available at the five other El Cholo locations — Downtown, La Habra, Santa Monica, Corona del Mar, and Anaheim Hills.

El Cholo, 1121 S. Western Ave. elcholo.com.

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Category: Entertainment

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