Altadena is a community near the foothills with few restaurants locals can visit for a fun dining experience. To name a couple, there is Pinocchio’s on Lake Avenue (Pasadena) serving great pastas and pizzas and Amy’s Patio Café with tasty breakfast/lunch plates.
I have seen few restaurants come and go on the corner of Altadena Drive and Lake Avenue. One day, I noticed the location going through a renovation. Hungry for good eats, I was curious what was coming to the site.
El Patron Mexican Food Restaurant. Sign finally came up. Driving by the restaurant, I often saw groups of people waiting to get in. I said to myself, “This place must be hot.” And it turned out to be “really” hot. The menu, prices and the margaritas – all hot!
The menu consists of the familiar tacos, burritos and combo plates which are all delicious. What to look for is “Especialidades De La Casa” which are the house specialties. Here are my favorites:
The Chicken Mole at $7.99 is a plate of moist chicken with thick, brown mole sauce blended with many spices and gives you a kick in each bite. The Chile Verde at $8.99 is a satisfying dish with large chunks of pork marinaded in a flavorful green sauce.
For a satisfying small bite(s), go for the tacos. At 99 cents for a taco (what a deal), you can try them with variety of meats. I tried Asada, Carnitas, and Pollo which were all great.
El Patron serves four kinds of in-house salsas aside from the regular fresh tomato salsa. These four salsas or sauces come in different range of heat, and colors. Dark brown, bright green, orange, and red. Make sure to ask for them at the table. Burritos at $5.60 each offer a large meal with a generous amount of meat, rice and beans. El Patron uses Frijoles which are cooked pinto beans rather than re-fried beans.
The restaurant serves alcoholic drinks. Domestic beer is $2.99. Margarita is $3.99. Happy hour prices served all day long (makes me happy). Wine is available (including Sangria) for $4.50 a glass. You can’t go wrong with the “Beer Bucket” which is five beers for $12.99 (domestic beer).
The seating is rather limited. There are about 5-6 large tables and few tables for 2 guests. Expect a wait on Friday and Saturday. Order to go if you are in a hurry.
Feeling like great Mexican Food? Take a drive up Lake Avenue and check out El Parton. I know you will love the small neighborhood atmosphere and of course the great food. MUY BUENO!
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