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El Criollo Reviews List

El Criollo

El Criollo has established itself as a freshly modern, yet still traditional full-service restaurant in the bustling downtown Van Nuys area. We of El Criollo are driven by the genuine aim to provide excellent, personable service complemented by the finest, most flavorful Cuban cuisine.

El Criollo's interior includes classic exposed brick walls, a high open ceiling, beautifully soft serenading Cuban music and poster-size images of vintage magazine covers and print ads. The restaurant offers deliciously delectable food with an updated, though still very classic look and feel – so much like a bodega in Old Havana. Our spacious dining room seats 60-plus with a bar offering fabulous wine, beer and cocktails.
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16 Current Reviews
Summary of Diner Ratings & Reviews
Overall 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
(16 Reviews)
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Breakdown 16 reviews
5 stars
(6)
4 stars
(6)
3 stars
(2)
2 stars
(2)
1 star
(0)
Food 
4.3 / 5
(Outstanding) 4.3 / 5
Service 
4.2 / 5
(Outstanding) 4.2 / 5
Ambiance 
3.8 / 5
(Very Good) 3.8 / 5
Noise Level
1.9 / 3
Moderate
Filter Reviews By:
Diners classify this restaurant as:
  • neighborhood gem(7)
  • good for groups(6)
  • great for lunch(5)
  • fit for foodies(3)
  • kid-friendly(3)
  • late-night find(2)
El Criollo Reviews List
Review 1 for El Criollo
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 1/30/2016
 2016
Dined on 1/30/2016
 2016
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
"Service was fantastic. The Ox tail was very tasty."
Dined on 1/30/2016
 2016
0points
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Review 2 for El Criollo
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 1/09/2016
 2009
Dined on 1/09/2016
 2009
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
4 / 3
Energetic
Dined on 1/09/2016
 2009
0points
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Review 3 for El Criollo
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

Dined on 12/23/2015
 2009
0points
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Review 4 for El Criollo
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 10/23/2015
 2008
Dined on 10/23/2015
 2008
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 10/23/2015
 2008
0points
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Review 5 for El Criollo
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 11/06/2015
 2015
Dined on 11/06/2015
 2015
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
Dined on 11/06/2015
 2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, great for lunch, late-night find
0points
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Review 6 for El Criollo
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

El criollo review 8/20/15

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 8/20/2015
 2015
Dined on 8/20/2015
 2015
Food 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Service 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Ambiance 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Noise Level
4 / 3
Energetic
"To start off, the restaurant was too hot. The air conditioning was either broken or set too high. There were no diners in the restaurant when we arrived and only one server. We ordered drinks and they had little to no ice. The appetitizers were good. The entrees were hit or miss. My fish looked and tasted like it was from Costco. The pork dishes were dry. Sides were good. To top it off, the server added 18% to the bill for our party of 7. It was not an 18% tip meal. Overall: Average at best. Probably will not return."
Dined on 8/20/2015
 2015
0points
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Review 7 for El Criollo
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
"I enjoyed a delicious lunch that compared favorably to the many great meals I had in Cuba last year."
Dined on 7/29/2015
 2009
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, great for lunch
0points
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Review 8 for El Criollo
Overall rating 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5

Food 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Service 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Ambiance 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
Dined on 6/30/2015
 2005
0points
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Review 9 for El Criollo
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 6/18/2015
 2012
Special Features: neighborhood gem, great for lunch
0points
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Review 10 for El Criollo
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

I highly recommend El Criollo

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
"This was the first time eating at El Criollo and I would highly recommend this to everyone. The menu is extensive with traditional Cuban flavors featured. Our server recommend a few of her favorites and we were very impressed. She also made one tasty mojito!"
Dined on 6/12/2015
 2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, great for lunch, special occasion, fit for foodies, kid-friendly
0points
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Review 11 for El Criollo
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Love the food, staff were very friendly.

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
Dined on 4/23/2015
 2014
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, fit for foodies
0points
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Review 12 for El Criollo
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Very Good

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
"Delicious Cuban food, not terribly overpriced, low key ambiance good for a family get together / weekend dinner."
Dined on 2/14/2015
 2005
Special Features: good for groups, kid-friendly
0points
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Review 13 for El Criollo
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Another terrific visit!

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
"Mojitos and margaritas great and handmade, food is tasty and flavorful, some of the best Cuban flavor around! Owner committed to excellent service."
Dined on 12/31/2014
 2011
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, late-night find
0points
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Ratings-Only Reviews for El Criollo
Based on the average of (3) ratings-only reviews
Overall 
3.7 / 5
(Very Good) 3.7 / 5
2 out of 3 recommend this product
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
3.7 / 5
(Very Good) 3.7 / 5
Noise Level
2 / 3
Moderate