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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

El Patron offers traditional Mexican food with a few delicious twists


It’s no secret that here in Los Angeles, we love our Mexican food. Everyone has their spin, but by now we all know what good Mexican food tastes like.

While everyone has their favorite, it’s always fun to try something new and discover a new favorite. How about venturing to the almost-top of Lake Avenue for your next venture?

“You’re treated like my guest as if you’re coming into my house,” says Alex Cortes, owner and founder of El Patron Mexican Restaurant.

Celebrating its fifth year on May 15, 2015, El Patron continues to whip up authentic Mexican dishes like tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, burritos, enchiladas, and many more.

Some of their must-have specials are Steak Picado, diced steak grilled with onions, bell pepper, tomatoes, and the chef’s special salsa; Chile Colorado, diced steak grilled with onions and special red salsa; and Carnitas Plate, deep fried pork served with tomatoes, onion, and cilantro.

Cortes says that the Carnitas is one of the bestsellers, together with the Garlic Fish Fillet and Crispy Potato Tacos. Cortes adds that El Patron’s specialty orange sauce is also a huge favorite among regulars. “It has a little bit of red peppers in it…It looks weird but once you try it, I know you’ll like it,” he says. But what Cortes deems as one of his restaurant’s best loved specialties is their margarita…or should we say, winearita?

We know what you’re thinking: chardonnay. This winearita, however, is made with a special wine made from agave.

“Agave wine has been around for over 10 years. It’s a tequila wine. It’s made out of the same plant that makes tequila, but it’s not distilled so it’s not the hard stuff,” Cortes says.

Cortes recounts that a lot of the customers who have had the agave wine couldn’t believe that they’ve been drinking wine all along. “They’re like ‘You mean this is a wine margarita? I couldn’t tell the difference!’”

This smooth agave wine, which closest resembles the taste of Reposado Tequila, is a far cry from the other winearitas that are grossly sweet. “This one is really smooth. So people will like it,” Cortes says.

Cortes is so fond of the wine, he serves every dinner guest a complimentary shot at the end of their meal. This kind gesture is just one of the reasons El Patron is a hit among the diners, and will be around for many more years.

El Patron is located at 2555 N. Lake Avenue Altadena. For more information, call (626) 296-2818 or

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