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October 17, 2007 10:39 - Oahu Hawaii Restaurant Review - Cholo's Mexican Restaurant

In the beginning of October I went to Oahu with some friends for a weeks vacation. I just love Hawaii, with it's beatiful weather and relaxing atmosphere.

We stayed on the North Shore away from all the touristy things in a nice little house. We snorkeled, boogie boarded, kayaked, went horseback riding, hiking, shopping and just plain hung out.

We also ate Mexican food and that's what this article is about. We found a nice place called Cholo's Mexican Restaurant located in the North Shore Marketplace in Haleiwa.

Before I get into my review, I want to tell you about a book that I borrowed from my sister. It's called Oahu Revealed and it's written by Andrew Doughty who actually lives on one of the islands. He also has books for Maui, Kaui, and the big island.

These books have become quite popular and it seemed as if everyone had one when I was on Maui back in May.
What I like about these books is that you feel like you are getting insider information about the islands that you wouldn't know about otherwise. These books cover everything from great hiking spots to the best beaches to great places to eat and on and on.

This is a book I highly recommend if you are planning a trip to one of the Hawaiian Islands.

Cholo's was mentioned in the book as well. So we all decided to give it a try.

To some people atmosphere is super important. But to me food quality is more so. So I will include an atmosphere rating as well. My rating standard is 5 stars. I will be rating the following:

1. atmosphere
2. service
3. price
4. food quality
5. portions


My initial reaction to Cholo's was that this is a happening place. Bright colors covered the walls and music was piped in the restaurant and in the outside eating area. The restaurant felt comfortable and had a nice festive Mexican feel to it. I would give the atmosphere 3.25 stars.


We arrived on the earlier side around 5pm and were able to get a table outside.

The waiter approached us quickly and brought menus. Through out the meal our waiter seemed attentive, polite and answered our questions. He was adequate in his job but not outstanding. He could have been friendlier and had more of a sense of humor. He did get the job done. I will give him 3 stars.

Price and Food Quality

We each ordered something different. I ordered the fish taco dinner which costs $8.50 for one taco. My taco was a disappointment. The fish was not very warm and was dried out with very little flavor. They made the taco with lettuce, cheese, tomato, onion, and cilantro. There was no sauce on the fish taco and it tasted very bland. My dinner came with refried beans and rice. Both of these side dishes had very little flavor.

One of my friends ordered a black bean, spinach, and chicken tostada for $6.25. She seemed to like it fine.

Another friend ordered the Chili Relleno dinner for $8.50. I tasted the chili relleno and that was in my opinion the best thing I tasted. I do want to mention that the chili relleno had no sauce on it, only cheese.

The other dinner that was ordered was a cheese enchilada dinner and well, the sauce here failed miserably.
Usually when the enchilada sauce fails it's because it's just a tomatoe sauce.

Most everyone at the table ordered a margarita. I don't drink so I had to rely on everyone else for the concensus. The margaritas were good. They were $6.00 for an average size margarita.

The chips and hot sauce were tasty.

Price 3 stars
Food Quality 2 stars


Quantity of food was adequate. You walked away feeling full if you ate it all. I did not finish my meal.

The Verdict

Overall Cholo's misses the mark for me because of food quality. The big question is "Would you go back?" I probably wouldn't. For those not so discriminating it's probably okay with the atmosphere and service.

Overall rating: 2.75 stars out of 5

atmosphere 3.25 stars
service 3 stars
price 3 stars
food quality 2 stars
portions 3 stars

Cholo's Mexican Restaurant
North Shore Marketplace

If you know of a great Mexican restaurant you would like to share with us, tell us about it and I will
post them all here. When we travel we can all find some great Mexican food to eat or places to avoid.
Submit your restaurant review here.

Have a great day,

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