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Arturo and his wife Donna started El Indio in 1960. Located on the busy corner of Artesia and Felton in North Redondo Beach it’s still run by 3 generations of the same family; Donna, her son Randy, and Randy’s daughter; Daniella. Most of the waitresses are related as well so it makes for a great family vibe behind the counter and that seems to warm up the place.
I feel comfortable in El Indio, maybe it’s the faded photos of Mexican gangsters hanging on the walls, and maybe it’s the vintage rifle above the dining room. I think it’s because the pattern in the tiles in front of the counter is worn away from years of foot traffic and that tells me the food here is good and safe. But if you need more reassurance, there is an “A” on the window from the health department as well.
Their salsa is delicious, lots of flavor but not too spicy so I can eat chipfuls of it and still have my taste buds intact when my food comes. They have a chunky pico de gallo that is yummy as well.
The guacamole at El Indio is simple and creamy with only a few chunks of tomatoes and onions in it. My favorite waitress there told me the secret to the recipe is milk.
A few people complain that the enchiladas are too flat. The ground beef enchilada is a mere ¾ inch thick at it’s fattest. To me it’s a non-issue because their sauce is thick and sweet and if I need more meat I’d order a burrito wet with enchilada sauce. My son loves the sauce so much he orders a side of it to dip his tacos in.
The burritos are gigantic. I ordered the Chile Verde burrito, one of their most popular items, and it was delicious. The big chunks of pork were tender and the mild red sauce was tasty and flavorful without being too spicy. As with most Mexican food, in the photo it just looks like a giant blob with sauce on top, but it’s really a big pile of delicious.
The Chicken quesadilla is my favorite, filled with lots of chicken and gooey cheese. I like to dip mine in gobs of sour cream and their creamy guacamole.
On the plus side, El Indio is a great deal, the food is reasonably priced, the service is great, and you can usually get in and out pretty quickly. They have my favorite kind of crushed ice for their drinks, the servings are huge and there is plenty of parking since they took over the empty lot next door. There is also fun stuff in the toy machines to keep kids quiet for an extended amount of time- great for parents.
On the negative side, they don’t serve beer, which wouldn’t be so bad if their water didn’t taste so strongly of chlorine. They do serve bottled beverages so that you don’t have to drink anything from the fountain. For all the health conscious people in the beach area, there isn’t much they could order here. I realize this is Mexican fare and not a health food restaurant, but there aren’t any fancy salads or low fat dressings offered. I also think it would be great if they had albondigas soup on the menu.
It’s worth the trip just to see this painting of the sassy mama and her papoose-bound baby making the classic duckface pose.
El Indio is located at 2523 Artesia Blvd. Redondo Beach, 90278 (310) 370-0038
Chicken quesadilla pictured $3.95
Chile verde burrito pictured $4.75