309 N Virgil Ave, Los Angeles, CA | Directions 9000434.076465 -118.286804
Neighborhoods: Central LA, Wilshire Center / Koreatown
El Caserio Restaurant: AN ETHNIC DELIGHT in LOS ANGELES – Had dinner there last night with my family and must say it's a great find !
The service was a bit slow . . but within reason as they had a packed house !
All the servers were very friendly and if your looking for a nice evening with friends and family . . .
This is a place for you . . . . .
The food was fresh and delicious and beautiful plated, with a wonderful drink menu . . . . .
a gastronomic treat !
interesting food choices, but terrible service – Went there for the first time for a friends birthday dinner. Got there and thought i'd really get into the place right away. i dug the decor and the food (mix of south american and italian), but that was all lost after consistent terrible service. First, after not getting any attention at our table (on a wednesday, the place wasnt packed or anything) I went to the bar and once again, its not packed, there was only one other person sitting there at the bar. I waited for 10 minutes for a waittress to finally come over and help me. She had no idea what a 7 & 7 was, even after I explained it to her, it seemed like too much trouble so i just got wine instead. That was just the beginning.... our food took forever. we literally waited over an hour. and to top it all off, as we finished the night with more wine and desert, we asked if they were closing soon. The waittress told us no, we could finish up, no rush. well someone obviously disagreed with her because 5 minutes later they turned up the outside mood music to levels where we had to yell to hear each other. instead of asking us to please finish up, they took the not so subtle and completely rude approach. I couldnt believe it. but i know this, they'll never get another dime from me or my friends again.
(UPDATE!!!) Oh, how quickly a restaurant can crumble... – I ran out of choices last night and was left with the decision to return to my once favored and much adored Ecuadorian retreat. I must say, since my last post (seen below), there have been some changes. The service is now spot on. The food, no longer lackluster. I had a great meal and glass of wine. I'm happy to see that my down-the-street-treat has restored itself and once again become the establishment I grew so fond of in the past. Great job El Caserio. Keep it going as I'll be back for more.
This spot has always been a great "go to" for me. Walking distance from my flat and always great food. The service was never tight but you did get just enough attention to get by. Last night may have ended our love affair. I understand a new location has opened down the street. Along with the original staff has gone the soul and quality of this once delicious establishment. My steak looked as if it had been boiled. While my peanut sauce was watery and began to mingle with my salad (salad is for a different plate in my book). My wine glass remained dry and spotty. A request for a refill was denied as they would be closing in 20 minutes. My jaw dropped when the waitress returned a clear "No" to my request. I should have asked earlier but didn't want to disturb the meals they were enjoying behind the bar in full view of the customers. For shame.
Average – I went there on Mother's day so I'm not sure if it's always that busy but the service was bad. It was due to the fact that they only had two waiters for the entire restaurant. The food took 40 minutes. I've had better Humitas. The ceviche is not traditional "Ecuadorian".
New site opened...give this place a chance. You won't be sorry! – The owners have been working on their new location 5 years in-the-making, and what a labor of love. Everything from the flagstone lined parking spaces to the travertine and authentic, destressed hard wood floors will have you amazed at not only the decor but the service AND (most especially) the food! I was immediately welcomed by both owners, William and Sara, who are natives to South America, warm and friendly. I was offered a fresh sangria with real fruit chunks upon being promptly seated. Then was given warm bread with a unique aji sauce. The wine list includes imported drinks from Ecaudor, Brazil, Colombia, inlcusive of fresh exotic fruits (for example, passion fruit and blackberry infused concoctions). To die for! Alot fo the entrees are cooked with beer, and the menu offers a white avacado albacore. This restaurant has come up with a wonderful theme of south american and italian fusion dishes: GENIOUS. Soon to come is a special wood-burning oven from Italy for specialty pizzas and a VIP room with a private patio! Owner says he took so long to open because he "does not compromise on quality- does only the best". And it shows.
as real as Ecuadorian food can be... – excellent food and drinks... as real as Ecuadorian food can be outside of Ecuador... highly recommended
Don't dare ask for more bread! – I must have gone to this place for at least 40 times in the last 6 years. I celebrated several birthdays for different family members at this place. I invited many and many friends and associates. I loved the "Seco de Gallina" dish. However, in the last year their service has just a taken a dive. I overlooked their inferior service because I loved their food and also because I considered it a restaurant ran by family and friends and thus with little service experience.... but I have had enough. I visited El Caserio with a group of 6 and received the typical inferior service. The waiter told me that the could not accomodate us where we wanted to sit. So I accepted to eat in a table right infront of the door. Then, I felt rushed to order....but what really drove me over the edge is when I asked for more bread for me and my family and the waiter told me in front of my family....listen this was not a bakery and that if I wanted more bread I would have to pay for it!!! Is that service?? Maybe they have enough customers and don't need me anymore. I will not be eating there anymore or reconmend it to anyone...that's for sure.
NO SUBSTITUTES – After two pleasant visits to this restaurant my third visit was really disappointing. I ordered Chicken marinated with tarragon sauce and spices accompanied by rice and vegetables (cauliflower, carrots and zucchinis) I asked the waitress to please substitute the vegetables for lentils, she refused. Then I asked to substitute them for plantain or anything other than vegetables she said NO. She told me that she can delete an item from my order but not substitute it for another side order(with no adjustment to the price). I felt it was unusual because my request wasnt unreasonable I just was asking substitute a side for another side. She offered me a portion of lentils for an additional cost. I refused, and I completely change my order for something else. This situation soured my experience, and in a way ruined my dinner because I felt compeled to eat something that I didnt want.
Nice place – Although it doesn't look like much from the outside, this is another of those hidden gems camped out in an ugly strip mall. This cozy restaurant was very nicely decorated, immaculately clean, and staffed by friendly women.
The food was very well-prepared and interesting, although except for the very spicy ahi salsa, more subtly flavored than we expected. Our favorite items were the fresh corn tamales (humitas), the sango de camarones entree, and the perfectly-prepared sides of plaintains. Based on its cost, Rich would have preferred a few more shrimp in the entree, but as no items were close to being bad, we would recommend this restuarant.
Authentic Ecuador – I spent a year after college in Ecuador. This restaurant reminds me of my host family's home cooking. Really yummy and super inexpensive! Try the llapingachos (cheesy potato pancakes).
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