This year, my bosses chose El Torito as the location for our company Christmas party. I was a little wary about what my options would be because sometimes company parties are set menus and it can be difficult to order anything else. In advance, I called and asked if there was a set menu. The woman who answered the phone couldn’t answer many of my questions, but told me that she thought we could just order from the regular menu and she thought that the rice had chicken stock in it and the beans possibly had lard or cheese. It wasn’t very helpful at all, so I started searching the internet for any information about what vegan options there may be. I found out that she was correct, the beans and rice were not vegan.
The vegan options I found through online research are as follows:
Spinach Enchiladas, no cheese or rice or beans: Sauteed fresh spinach, pasilla chiles, onions, pico de gallo, and fire-roasted tomatillo sauce.
Veggie Fajitas, no chile relleno: Fresh zucchini, spinach, potatoes, peppers, carrots, squash, green beans, onions, fresh rosemary and mint leaves.
Supposedly there is a Veggie Burrito full of tasty veggies, but I couldn’t find that on the menu.
The guacamole is also vegan-safe.
I went with the Veggie Fajitas. I didn’t take a picture because no one at work knows about my blog. Most of them don’t understand the concept of vegan (my boss once told me about a whole, organic chicken she saw and thought I might be interested in, thinking it was vegan) and I tend to get teased in a way that your grandpa or an uncle might tease you about being vegan.
The fajitas came out on one of their sizzling skillets with the tortillas in a warm container. I assembled them myself with generous heaps of guacamole on top. The vegetables were julienned and the perfect size, plus they were cooked perfectly. The rosemary and mint really added an interesting flavor dimension, too.
I surprisingly really enjoyed the meal and would be happy to return. I just wouldn’t schedule another group meal at the El Torito in Woodland Hills because our waitress was horrendous. She forgot to put the order in for my food, so myself and a few considerate people sitting around me had to wait a full 15 minutes after everyone was served. She was also pretty pushy, telling me that I couldn’t get a blended margarita and bringing me one on the rocks, when people around me were able to order blended. She even patronizingly told another diner that next time she needs to say “tostada” when she wants her salad in a taco shell. The girl, shocked, mumbled, “but I did say tostada.” I will definitely avoid her section if I ever go back.