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El Chavo Restaurant

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Doesn't Recommend

El Chavo - WTF happened?!. Sheesh! I go away for a while and they totally ruin the place. I was a loyal patron for years, enjoying many dates and drinks at El Chavo before heading to the legendary Tiki Ti next door. Never ever again. Dropped in Friday at 6:30, had a margarita/rocks with the Señor combo... one of the WORST meals I've ever had. I guess they bring the tongue-scorching dip and chips first so you can't taste anything else. Add a stale, toxic margarita from Chemlab 101 and you're ready for your Superfund cleanup. Dinner had all the flavor of scorched microwaved maxi-pads; even the Spanish rice hurt. The only recognizable item was the chile relleno, marked only by its grease. Jarring acoustics, awful drinks and a charred tongue... El Chavo's NOT for dates, unless you're a sadist or breaking up. Instant headache. The new owner also "created" the Edendale Grill on Rowena, whose sole contribution to local culture is a serious traffic hazard due to its valet parking kiosk on a blind curve (!). Now he's gutted El Chavo, ruined the menu and SUCKED ALL THE FUN OUT. Cheap metal chairs scraping on a cement floor, crappy dance muzak and stark bare walls does NOT equal "atmosphere". Every group at every table was straining to hear over the echoing sludge of the dining room. Get a clue: dining out should be comfortable. If diners can't even hear their date, you've screwed up the ambience big time. And if you gut the entire place to its bare ceiling ducts (too much HGTV, eh?), please put in some acoustic panels or booths to soak up the noise. At least hang up some serapes, for chrissakes. The worst? Mr Edendale took down El Chavo's giant glowing blood-red Aztec warrior icon which covered the entire back wall, shrunk him down and hid him in the corner next to a hideous cantina bar thing. What a travesty. In the past, his fearsome visage weeded out Westside yuppies and neurotic vegans, and he was a true compadre after many margarita marathons. Alas, said the raven... For those of us fleeing the house/DJ/karaoke hell of Acapulco's, El Chavo is a pathetic shell of its former glory, another disaster from the "restaurateur" crowd destroying this city's cafes like George W. Bushes of cuisine. Now we're left with a noisy, stinking cavern with all the charm of a Nogales bus depot cafeteria during a brownout. Two regular couples I know came in and walked out while I was waiting for my menu... that was an omen. My advice? Get tacos at Yuca's, drop in at El Chavo to check out the bar, then WALK RIGHT OUT. Head to the Tiki Ti for drinks. Don't give these clods ANY of your money. But if you like chemical-tasting drinks, searing mouth pain and over-priced mexi-food resembling scorched snot, head to El Chavo. There'll be plenty of room, because it SUX. As William Hurt's character says in A History of Violence, "HOW DO YOU F*CK THAT UP?!" How, indeed? Some L.A. treasures need to be left alone, dammit. Walking outside with mouth charred and nerves shot, I was gonna call on the Aztec lords of the underworld to put a curse on El Chavo. But there's no point — the new owner already beat them to it.


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June 05, 2009
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