El Portal Restaurant – Pasadena, Calif.

3 Mar

Last nite I had an impromptu dinner date with my friend and the BF.

An impromptu dinner date is when you just show up at a friend’s house, without warning and invite yourself to dinner.

So that’s exactly what happened: I was on my way to some Indian food nearby a friend’s house. I wanted to invite her but realized I had forgotten my phone. So I just showed up, waking her up from her “nap” (at 7pm on a Friday nite?). Anywho, when she opened the door I just took it upon myself to say “So where are you taking me for dinner?”

This friend of mine is down! I mean without thinking she said “there’s this Mexican restaurant and it has a bar” – SOLD!

*picture borrowed from Yelp.com*

So we drove down to beautiful Pasadena and stopped at El Portal Restaurant in just about the prettiest location. The place was PACKED!! but we were seated instantly. Greeted with water and chips and salsa and enamored with all the Mexican details in the restaurant. Remind you, I had forgotten my phone and was a bit upset that I couldn’t take any pics to show you the magnificence of this place (thank goodness for Yelp). The restaurant is a Yucatan Mexican food restaurant. So they offered your traditional Mexican fare with a little bit of Yucatan-style entrees.

I opted for their Yucatan trio, which consisted of rice, black bean soup, cochinita pibil (marinated pork), a Yucatan tamal and a pork chop. What can I say, it was a tourist attraction and I wanted to take it all in.I enjoyed one of their tasty and large margaritas, while the BF enjoyed some shrimp enchiladas and the friend ate her enchildas en mole.

*image borrowed from Yelp.com*


The highlight of my night was definitely the mariachi trio that sang “Mariachi Loco” for me. The violinist blew me away and totally inspired me to take some violin lessons (now that I’ve mastered the air violin, know what i’m sayin’). I am definitely going to book myself another trip to this delicious restaurant and so should you.

the mariachi trio! I can't believe I found their pic! (Thanks Yelp.com)


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