El Tejano Brings Big Flavor to North Hollywood

Once a very promising restaurant, Bow & Truss was poised to turn the North Hollywood dining scene into a true destination. A couple of years later, the same restaurant which opened with a ton of buzz is now gone along with it’s exciting Latin flare. In it’s place comes a restaurant that is on the very opposite end of the spectrum. Is that a bad thing? In this case, it is certainly not.
El Tejano is college student’s dream. The space is fun and vibrant, albeit much different than the sexy glow that radiated from Bow & Truss. The layout itself is not much different; there are two bars, one inside that acts as a centerpiece to the restaurant and another outside which has a more laid back feel to it. You can belly up to the bar and order one of their signature Margaritas that are served in 18oz schooners or just grab a beer and play a game of cornhole with your buddies. If you are looking to jump right into it, you can choose something from their extensive list of Tequila and Mezcal.
To further enhance the college experience, there are plenty of vibrant picnic tables outside where you can relax with friends and chow down on their extensive menu of Tex Mex cuisine. I made a visit on a regular Wednesday night and the place was filled with attractive clientele all mostly in their 20’s. The staff was no different; young bartenders in daisy dukes and a wait staff plucked right from the pages of an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog.

While there, I learned that this was the sister restaurant to Big Wang’s which made complete sense after taking a closer inspection. The vibe was very similar, the drinks were going down easy and the staff was super friendly. If you are a true Angeleno, you have probably spent a good amount of time at Big Wang’s, whether it was a hazy Sunday watching football with your friends or a Friday night bar crawl that consisted of places your college budget could afford.
With that in mind, I was eager to try the menu but wasn’t expecting very much. My intuition was completely reversed soon after. El Tejano stays very true to the notion “Under promise, over deliver”. I was able to try about seven different items and each dish that come out seemed better than the last.

At a place called El Tejano which is known for Tex-Mex style cuisine, I was eyeballing the Queso from the moment I sat down but my bartender suggested I try the Queso Fundido which is something I haven’t had in years. Served in a cast iron skillet, this is a cheese lovers dream. What arrived at my table was molten cheese melted from rim to rim layered over perfectly cooked poblanos and onions and served with hot tortillas. I only wanted to taste a few bites but ended up devouring 3/4 of the dish. Probably not the best idea but it had to be done.

When they say everything in Texas is bigger, they must have been talking about El Tejano’s Texas Cobb Salad which was so ridiculously large, I thought I was on a hidden camera show. I didn’t even know how to dig into this thing. I honestly had to look around and make sure no one was watching me because I’m sure I looked like a fool. Nevertheless, the flavor was as big as the bowl. The Texas Cobb is piled high with BBQ brisket, roasted corn, beans, avocado, cheddar cheese, deviled eggs and served with jalapeño ranch dressing. If you want to go to sleep right after, feel free to order it by yourself, if you would like to stay awake and continue partying, suggested serving size is about four people.

Another star of the night was their Texan Torta which was piled high with Smoked BBQ brisket, cabbage slaw, lettuce, tomato, avocado, escabeche and de arbol aioli. Their sandwiches are served with waffle fries and of course, Ranch dressing to dunk them in.

There is one thing that can be found somewhat regularly throughout Los Angeles, it’s fairly simple but tastes so darn good. That, my friends, is a potato taco which is one of my favorite things to eat. At El Tejano, they but most potato tacos to shame. It is piled high which cabbage, pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole. There are so many things on the menu that look appealing but don’t skip the potato taco.

El Tejano
11122 Magnolia Blvd.
North Hollwood, CA

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