Here in Santa Monica, competition is fierce within the Mexican cuisine arena, but one eatery stands head and shoulders above the others, and that’s Gilbert’s El Indio Restaurant. A long-standing feature within the city, this is a family owned business that was started nearly 50 years ago by Gilberto and Carmen Rodriguez.
“We want our customers to feel welcome and enjoy a delicious meal and create memories,” manager Elizabeth Chavela Safron said. “Our restaurant provides a place for friends and family to gather.”

Contributing to the community features heavily in the mantra of this Mexican restaurant. All nine Rodriguez children spent their childhoods working here, from washing dishes to eventually taking management roles; many still live in the Santa Monica area. Gilbert’s maintains consistently high scores on review websites like Yelp, GrubHub and Google and if you’ve been fortunate enough to feast here, that’ll come as no surprise. Almost every review mentions the warm, welcoming atmosphere inside and outside everyone is greeted from the moment they walk through the doors.
That and the food, of course, made from fresh ingredients with generation’s worth of expertise; it’s no wonder then that an abundance of delicious flavors will fill your mouth with every bite.

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