*The DIS publishes reviews of meals that we pay for. We only utilize discounts and offers if they are available to the general public, such as annual passholder discounts. We receive no outside compensation for our dining experiences so that we may give our honest opinions about price and value.
Patina Restaurant Group owns quite a few restaurants in Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort. Tyler and I both agree that Tortilla Jo’s is a clear winner for their Tableside Guacamole and margaritas. We enjoy coming here to grab a snack and head to the parks. We decided to meet up with a couple Patreon Members, have dinner, and do a review of the food options to see how all of our dishes stacked up.
Nestled in the heart of Downtown Disney, this multi-level restaurant has multiple dining areas. The patio outside is great to grab food and enjoy the surrounding area. If dining outside is not what guests are looking for, the inside restaurant is perfect! The casual atmosphere with vibrant colors, Spanish tiles, wooden furniture, ceramic pottery, and Saturday performances by the Mariachi Divas bring the restaurant to life! Towards the back of the dining room guests can see fresh tortillas being made throughout the day.
During the afternoons this location is pretty easy to walk in and get a table with less than a 10-minute wait. If you’re dining for dinner and have a large party, it is highly recommended to make advance reservations online or through the Disneyland App so your wait time can be reduced significantly. This is a very popular place during the evening and if you don’t have reservations it can sometimes be a little wait to get a table. For Tyler and I, in our past experiences, we didn’t make reservations and never had to wait longer than 30 minutes. The great thing about this restaurant is that you don’t have to be chained to the area. They simply text you when your table is available, so guests can walk around and do some shopping while they wait.
The menu is pretty straightforward and friendly to people who are not so familiar with Mexican cuisine. For those ceviche lovers out there, this place has five different kinds to choose from. If anyone out there has a gluten allergy like me, then definitely try out this place; this menu has several options that will blow you away! The prices are reasonable for being situated by a theme park and the portions alone will make up for them. From appetizers to entrees this menu ranges from $7 to $27, and some of these entrées can even be split between two people. If you’re worried about bringing the little ones along, don’t be, they have a kid-friendly menu and a person walking around making balloon animals.
As soon as we sat down we were greeted with warm crispy tortilla chips and salsa. The salsa has fresh tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. I will say that this salsa is cilantro forward, so if you are not a big fan of cilantro, you may not like it.
Tableside Guacamole– Haas Avocados, Onions, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Chile Serranos, Lime Juice, and Salt prepared to your liking
When Tyler and I come to Tortilla Jo’s it is mandatory to get the guacamole. The way that it is prepared in front of you is a California staple and just fun to watch. They begin by asking how spicy the table would like it and if every ingredient is okay to be added in. This is your guacamole so you can have them omit any ingredient you may not prefer. When they start mixing in the ingredients, it is like a dance —they know every step to take and how to mix it so the final product is smooth and creamy. The one thing that I will say is that I love how they ask you to taste the guacamole before they leave so they can fine-tune the taste. We have eaten at many Mexican restaurants who do tableside guacamole and have never been asked to try it before they leave to the next table.
Enchiladas de Mole– Three Corn Tortillas, Shredded Chicken, Sweet Chile Mole Sauce, Toasted Sesame Seeds, Cotija Cheese, and Crema Fresca
Tender shredded chicken wrapped up in soft corn tortillas and smothered with a rich decadent smoky mole sauce left Tyler wanting to come back again and get more! The toasted sesame seeds have a rich smoky quality that adds more depth and reduces the sweetness of the sauce. The crema and cheese add a creamy soothing quality and the fresh cotija cheese adds that little kick of salt that rounds out the flavor of the whole bite.
Chicken Tamale– Cilantro-Pasilla Marinated Chicken, Salsa Verde, Cotija Cheese (pictured left)
Chicken Enchilada– Shredded Chicken, Monterey Jack Cheese, Salsa Verde, Corn Tortilla (pictured right)
Going into dinner I was craving salsa verde but couldn’t decide on whether or not I wanted a tamale or an enchilada. Thank goodness they have a combination plate for an indecisive person like me! The combo plate is also served with rice and refried beans. Not being a huge refried beans fan, I opted for black beans instead. Let’s start off with the tamale. The delicate corn masa surrounding the chicken was perfectly seasoned and had a perfectly smooth texture. The ratio of shredded chicken to masa was excellent and the salsa verde added that acidic note that it needed. The enchilada had the same kind of chicken and salsa verde as the tamale. The only difference was that it was wrapped in a corn tortilla. The tortilla was tender and loaded with delicious chicken. At first, I was really loving the enchilada and gooey cheese on top but towards the end of eating that whole platter I started leaning towards the tamale as my favorite option.
We loved both our dishes and had zero complaints about them. The service was excellent and overall enjoyable. The portions were enormous, and for the price this place really makes it worth it. During dinner we never had an empty basket of chips, they were always filled. Word to the wise, having warm chips with cool guacamole is addictive and makes your taste buds yearn for more, plus when you are with good company, you tend to forget how much you’re eating until you get up.