All the dirt, news, culture and commentary for Oklahoma's second century.

FOOD REVIEW: El Toro Chino

Penny Ridenour / Red Dirt Report
Fertile Ground Compost Service
Help support Red Dirt Report
Rusty's Score
3 Rustys

Who knew when East met West it was going to be in Norman, Oklahoma?  El Toro Chino,  2801 36th Ave NW, opened this year in a brand new development on Norman’s west side.  I drove by their sign every day during construction and tried to figure out how the Spanish word for bull and a reference to the largest Asian country would translate into cuisine.

The manager at the restaurant reported the owners had no special reason for the concept other than to marry his favorite flavors from each culture. 

I started with a wonton soup ($6) that had a slightly too weak broth.  What made this soup different was that instead of the boiled wonton usually featured, this soup had an empanada-style wonton.  It was tasty, but the texture was unexpected and seemed out of place in soup.

I had prime brisket with a cilantro lime sauce and Spanish rice.  The plate also came with sautéed mushrooms and grilled tomato ($20).  The first thing I noticed was the plate was beautiful with vibrant colors.  The brisket was slightly charred and had no exotic flavor to the meat.  The sauce simply sat on top and felt like an afterthought, rather than the star of the dish.  That being said, the sauce was delicious and made the entire plate taste decidedly fresh.

Dessert was a scoop of sea salt caramel ice cream in a churro bowl ($7).  I expected the churro bowl to be crunchy, but it was very much like a cinnamon sugar funnel cake, making this something that tasted like a preview of the Oklahoma State Fair.

 Overall, El Toro Chino featured a special occasion meal but was such a departure from the expected, it left my taste buds confused. 

All Photos by Penny Ridenour / Red Dirt Report

El Toro Chino
2801 36th Ave NW
Norman, OK 73072
Phone: 405-701-8676

Enjoy this? Please share it!

About the Author

Penny Ridenour

Penny Ridenour is a transplant Oklahoman of almost 20 years with enough red dirt under her...

read more

Enjoy this? Please share it!

About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

Member of the Oklahoma Press Association
Member of Investigative Reporters & Editors
Member of Diversity Business Association
Member of Uptown 23rd

Rotary Club of Bricktown OKC
Keep it Local OK