Posted April 16, 2023

I’ve always felt Los Angeles has better Mexican food, and I was offered a choice of eating hot pot or going for Mexican food. The hot pot choice would’ve been a place that we have a chain of here in NYC, and since we don’t know when we’ll be back in LA, I thought the answer was pretty easy. We decided on the Mexican joint because this is a local favorite for my cousin. Xécora is a small chain of Los Angeles Mexican restaurants with Huichol cultural influences.

Ambiance & Service

The interior is a no frills spot with fairly minimal decoration. The tables are pretty spaced out, and there are tables of various sizes. The service was a little lethargic, but that’s because they have inadequate number of servers. Just be patient.


The Agua Fresca ($7) came in a large glass jar glass and was guava flavored. It tasted pretty good, albeit was loaded with sugar.

The Xecora Shrimp ($18) came with several grilled head-on shrimp with house sauces. The head was edible, but be careful of some parts of the shell as it could be a little hard.

The Fish Ceviche ($15) came with fish ceviche. They give you tostada chips on the sides as a dipping vessel. The fish tasted mighty fresh and citrus-y.

The Lilikoi ($15) came with shrimp ceviche, passion fruit, mango, and sesame seeds. The shrimp, like the fish, tasted mighty fresh and citrus-y.

The Ensenada Style ($6 per unit) tacos came with beer battered shrimp, cabbage, pico de gallo, and dressing. Overall, it was good, but not something that completely raises the roof.

The Carne Asada Plate ($30) came with charbroiled premium beef with beans and sauteed veggies and handmade tortillas. The beef was tender and seasoned very nicely. The beans were really good too.

The Xecora Seafood Rice ($28) came with shrimp, octopus, fish, scallops, oysters, clams, and veggies. This was pretty good. The seafood in the rice was very fresh, and the rice had some nice seasoning to it.

The Fish Chicharron ($30) came with beans, cucumber salad, and handmade tortillas. This was very delicious. It was deep fried thin filets of fish. You can easily make a fried fish wrap with it. This was really easy to nibble on as well since the thin filets are like sheets and stay crispy throughout the night.

The Zarandeado Fish ($55) came with 2.5 lb charbroiled whole fish and was served with beans, cucumber salad, and homemade tortillas. The fish had quite a few bones in it, but it was overall pretty decent. Many parts of it were dry, but the flavors were nice and smoky. The cucumber salad was something of interest to me because it had some vinegar-y hot sauce on it.

Final Verdict

Xécora is a pretty good Mexican restaurant that has all around great flavors. If you’re in the El Monte area or near any of its other locations, check this out if you’re the mood for Mexican. Be aware that the service can be a little slow, but it’s a pretty laid back joint. Don’t hesitate to flag a server down if you need something.

Yelp Jabs

Once the food was dropped off our waitress never returned we would have ordered more drinks but she didn’t come back until we were ready for the check. Seems like they don’t care about providing service which is a bit disappointing since we liked everything else.

The service here is a little slow because there are not enough servers for all the tables. I think there were at most 3 servers for like 20+ parties. One might assume that they should just hire more, but what do you do if you don’t have applicants? Regardless for diners, they should always feel empowered to flag a server down instead of waiting for them to come by.

The fried tortillas on the tacos tasted old, do not order the octopus…. They are literally inedible. It’s so chewey… worse than as of you were chewing on rubber

This Elitist decided to order octopus tacos. Now, I would scold a restaurant for even thinking of this idea since the execution risk is so high. However, I’m going to point out this Elitist. What world do they live in where a middle of the road Mexican restaurant will have great octopus tacos? That alone sounds like an oxymoron.


  1. Apr 16, 2023 - Initial revision.