Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Glibert's El Indio - Old School Mexican in Santa Monica

Gilbert's El Indio has been in the same location on Pico Blvd and 26th Street in Southeast Santa Monica for over 30 years. It is a casual restaurant that specializes in Cal-Mexican with enchiladas, tamales, burritos, quesadillas etc. Gilbert's does not take reservations and is cash only.

Meals at Gilbert's begin with homemade chips and salsa. The chips are often warm, straight out of the fryer. A signature touch is the pickled carrots which are served with the chips and salsa. These are shown on the right in the photo above.

At Gilbert's the prices are reasonable and the portions are large. The chicken enchiladas (pictured above) are covered in gooey cheese, are messy and quite tasty. This is not the place to look for the healthy or diet options.

For especially large appetites, the burritos are oversized, especially the Extra Super Mule, which is described as "beef, chicken or pork, with beans, avocado and lettuce burrito topped with melted cheese, tomato, chili ortega, and our tasty verde sauce, all served on a bed of rice." The margaritas are served in jar style cups and are also very reasonable.

I am continually amazed by how quickly the food comes out of the kitchen, invariably only about five minutes after you order. The service is friendly and quick, the chips and salsa are continually replenished and it is a homey family owned restaurant environment. Gilbert's does not claim to be authentic regional Mexican cuisine; it is happy doing what it does well, California Mexican in a comfortable ambiance at a fair price. Gilbert's also has its own free parking lot. The entrance to the restaurant is in the back, from the parking lot.

Gilbert's is open from 8 am - 11 pm, 7 days per week, and stays open til midnight on Friday & Saturday nights. It serves breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Gilbert's: 2526 Pico Blvd @ 26th St in Santa Monica. Phone: (310) 450-8057. Website:

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