“Well, there’s always El Coyote.”
Raise your hand if you’ve heard that before on a Friday night. When it comes to old standbys, El Coyote is about as accurate as that term gets. Established in 1931, this restaurant is one of those few LA spots that have grown up with the city, generation by generation. To go into all its crazy history would require a separate article entirely, but assuming you’re already at your computer, go ahead and google Sharon Tate.
El Coyote is convenient, consistent and above else, pretty darn fun. But is it actually any good? Does that even matter? Strictly food speaking, El Coyote just doesn’t quite get there. The house-made salsa put on the table has that curious hint of Prego to it and the rest of the menu doesn’t exactly pull any surprise punches. That being said, you can still eat a decent meal here and be on your merry way.
But that would be missing the point altogether.
Because one goes to El Coyote to COME together. Whether that be with friends, family, lovers or otherwise, El Coyote’s welcoming atmosphere (not to mention gigantic footprint) provides a communal environment not found in many other places. The margaritas are legends in their own right, and to come here and not order one is a disservice not only to yourself but to the eight decades of Los Angelenos getting sh*t-housed on Beverly Boulevard.
Yet we have a hunch El Coyote already knows this about themselves. It’s probably why they’ve survived longer than almost anyone and will still have lines out the door this weekend. No, you shouldn’t come for the food and that’s alright. You should come here for the drinks, the history, the atmosphere, the conversation, and inevitably, the sloppy walk home.
One of the restaurant’s signature dishes, named after one of their original patrons, it’s nothing fancy, but the perfect dish to wash down with the help of those margaritas.
Though more of a Tex-Mex dish, their version of shredded beef and eggs is killer.
The most adventurous entree on the menu is also one of the tastiest. The sound of ostrich meat will scare most anyone away, but those who try it will be rewarded.
Many people come to El Coyote for the burrito. They are simply enormous and doused in a red sauce. Though you can choose any protein to put inside, we recommend their juicy pork the most.
Overshadowed by the burritos and enchiladas of the world, this simple rib-eye steak marinated in citrus is an old standard and should a must-order item for your table.
One of the true unsung heroes of the Mexican culinary world, El Coyote’s Chile Relleno is cheesy goodness to the core. Also, it’s $6.