Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Restaurant Impossible - Estrada's Restaurant Update

Tonight on Restaurant Impossible, Robert Irvine and crew are going to Daly City, CA (just outside of San Francisco, CA) to makeover Estrada's Restaurant.  This is the season 7 finale of Restaurant Impossible (note - tonight's episode is on at 8pm rather than 10pm), but new episodes for the 8th season will begin early next month.  Estrada's is a 96-year-old restaurant, which the current owner Julio has owned for the past 6 years.  Julio and his girlfriend are supposedly over $400,000 in debt, and the restaurant is suffering from flavorless food and a lack of passion from the owners.  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Estrada's Restaurant to get an idea of how the restaurant is doing since Robert Irvine visited, and here is what I found (note - all reviews are post Restaurant Impossible):

Positive Reviews:

  • "We ordered the Mexican street corn which was delicious.  The chips and salsa were also very good....One negative is that the menu is somewhat limited and not inexpensive, however, this won't keep us from going back....The service was excellent with the staff being very attentive and friendly...Whenever we're in the area, we'll definitely stop in for lunch, dinner, or a cocktail."
  • "Have been going to Estrada's for 62 years - when I first went in was taken aback by the changes but soon realized it had changed for the better.  Stopped going a few years ago -seemed to be getting tacky. Outstanding service and updated decor. New Sizzling salad is better than the old one.  Will start going regularly again."
  • "Service is excellent! Very good food. I loved the Shrimp and Chicken Vallarta and also the Tamales. Pozole was a little salty. But the service was really good. I went there before and after The Restaurant: Impossible, BIG difference! Way better now."
  • "This is a 3 visit experience. I came back tonight after I went to the reveal of Restaurant Impissible. I also went before the reveal, so I could try the "before" menu....Overall, a great 3 part experience! For the food...I have to say, the "signature re-vamped sizzling taco salad" was not only fun, but the talk of the table....We are new locals now!"
  • "Easily 5 stars, for the friendly service and excellent food. Just had some steak w/ watermelon cherry salsa, and a jerk chicken and both tasted heavenly. Seems like Chef Irvine's magic is working."

Negative Reviews:

  • "We have been going to Estradas for decades, but after our experience last night will not be returning....First of all the d├ęcor is cheesy, tacky and busy, too many colors and textures, the previous relaxing comforting atmosphere is all gone. The worn flooring has not been replaced, and obviously the furnace not repaired, as we still have to wear our jackets in the place... The service: very slow, it took over 40 minutes to get our dinner...The menu was also disappointing, our previous favorite dishes were not listed, but we were told could still be ordered. We found the portions to be smaller, and the food bland, with very little flavor."
  • "Been there twice since RI remake........staff is great but food sucks.  Had standard gringo food, enchiladas and burritos...The abbreviated menu no longer includes the former seafood dishes, e.g., pescado del dia, camerones caribenos, and the other really tasty shrimp dishes....And as other yelpers have mentioned, the 'straunt is a refrigerator.  A cold patron is a ticked off patron, turn up the heat J....I want to really give Julio a break, but in good conscience, I can't recommend this place...Everytime I pass by, the parking lot is empty.  How he remains "open" really puzzles me...Former owners.......when they ran the place, it was always packed."
  • "I am sad to give this place such a low rating, because I did like it better before. My first visit to Estradas was a few months ago in the summer. I remember the portions being generous and everything tasting really good....Everything tasted okay, but definitely not as good as before. I'd say, overall, my biggest disappointment was with the new menu. I can understand kitchen or serving staff having an off night, but the food and selection has gone downhill."
  • "Friday night and this place was EMPTY...Didnt mind the small menu or smaller portion sizes. I expect "delicious" when the focus is on few menu items. I guess my expectations were set too high....Food and ambiance are a bust. Certainly not worth coming back to. Unless you just want Margaritas and chips."

*Reviews from Yelp, Tripadvisor

Other News And Updates:
  • Here is the website for Estrada's and here is the menu listed on the website.  They have a Facebook page, but it is not kept up to date.
  • Estrada's is currently offering a Groupon deal with 2 different options (Link)
    • $15 for two breakfast items and two mimosas or bloody marys (up to a $31.90 value)
    • $28.98 for $60 worth of Mexican and Caribbean food ($20 limit per visit)
  • In late September of 2013, there was a motorcycle gang clash at the restaurant in which 2 people were shot.  Vagos and Wanted motorcycle clubs met up at the restaurant, and Hell's Angels members heard of the meeting and sought to break it up.  Two people were shot and at least 5 shots were fired at the restaurant (Link).  That can't be good for business.
  • Here is a picture of the tabletop from a booth that has plate rings on it due to the paint not being totally dry and hot plates going on the table.


The reviews for Estrada's are about half positive and half negative, however, there have been a lot of reviews left since the makeover, so it seems people are interested in checking it out.  The positive reviews compliment the food, service, and atmosphere, while the negative reviews complain about the tasteless food, smaller menu, and higher prices.  There were also multiple complaints about the restaurant being cold inside, so they may want to turn up the heat a bit.

The menu is very small for a Mexican restaurant, however many reviews state that if you want something off of the old menu, Estrada's will make it for you.  Restaurant Impossible usually trims the menu to keep down food costs, but with a Mexican restaurant, many of the items (beef, pork, chicken) can be made into multiple things (tacos, burritos, quesadillas, etc.).  I would expect Estrada's to expand the menu a bit to cater to both new and returning customers.

*Visit Our Restaurant Impossible Update Page to see all Restaurant Impossible updates, and which restaurants are open, closed, or have been sold.  Also Like Us on Facebook  and  Follow Us on Twitter  


  1. "I came back tonight after I went to the
    reveal of Restaurant Impissible."

    Is that like a web episode of Restaurant: Impossible in which they finally renovate the bathrooms too???!!! Bwahahahahaha!

  2. Hey...what happened to my comment??? I thought it was one of my most clever!!!

  3. Can you please stop reporting on negative reviews from old regulars (whiners) after the renovation is complete! (BTW awesome job on the site, thanks so much for it!).

  4. "Here is a picture
    of the tabletop from a booth that has plate rings on it due to the
    paint not being totally dry and hot plates going on the table."

    That's on Robert and the producers. They aren't giving the decorators enough time. Plus there's been inflation, $10,000 doesn't go as far. Add another day and, say, another 5 grand.

  5. I had to laugh at the complaint that there was now too many colors in the decor. Like "wat?" It's less jumbled than before. :p

    And of course a regular would complain the portion size isn't as big, who wants to pay a fair price for food when you used to get more than you should for the money?

  6. I have to agree that doing these amazing family/employee transformations, and getting the whole restaurant remodeled in two days is unbelievable. Hotel Impossible takes 4 days, and Ramsay supposedly spends a full week at a restaurant. Every show ends up with everyone tacking stuff on the walls in a panic, because there are 50 people outside waiting to have dinner. The time issue also gives them a convenient excuse for the places that end up looking very tacky and horrible after the makeover. It should be 3 days and $15K.

  7. It does seem like all the negative people mention that they were used to getting gigantic portions, and now they can't take the food home and eat all week.

  8. The negative reviews make me laugh cause they are just people who can't handle change and who want to rob these people of money by getting more food then what they pay for

  9. Really ????? Taking pics of the table not dried yet,,,get a damn life please,,,,Good Job guys,,,hope business does well

  10. omg all the negative reviews obviously was the same person;. And I think they hit all the reviews for RI spitting their negative spew

  11. Did the owner go visit his mama?

  12. Yeah, I agree that the 2 day time limit seems so arbitrary. I mean, is Dennis Hopper going to blow up Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves if the restaurant isn't renovated in 48 hours?

  13. Waiting for common senseMarch 28, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    Get rid of the surveys or I won't be coming back.

  14. It's a shame you feel this way.
    Bloggers spend countless hours searching for, writing, formatting, and editing content and very rarely see a dime from it. If you really like the content you are getting then one click to see the text is such a non-issue.
    We need to support the great bloggers out there so that sites like these don't close because of lack of funding,.

  15. They have now closed and the owners are opening a home care business in Stratford. WOnder how that will turn out!