Resident Endeavors: El Patron
El Patron Mexican Restaurant, Tarzana
David and Pam Casselman
It’s widely known that the restaurant business is not for the faint of heart. Nonetheless, when a building David Casselman co-owned needed a new restaurateur tenant, he decided to give it a go himself. And while Tarzana may seem just a bit off the radar of local Hidden Hills dining options, a short 10 minute ride to Reseda Boulevard, just off the 101, will bring you to a bright and festive culinary experience that you and your family will continue to crave.
Here’s the roundup on El Patron from Owner and Hidden Hills Resident, David Casselman:
What is the best compliment/feedback you’ve ever gotten about El Patron?
It never gets old hearing that people really love the atmosphere or the friendly attitude we try to bring to our service every day. But, nothing is better than taking a risk on some new creation, like our Pina al Pastor, and hearing the oohs and ahs of approval. That is just too good.
What is the crowd favorite there in terms of:
Anything special that should be noted about the ingredients you use?
We go out of our way to use only fresh ingredients where possible. You can taste the difference. My family and friends eat there. We want to love it and be proud of it. So, we do our very best to offer delicious options, presented in the best possible way.
And about all those taps behind the bar?
We are always experimenting. We offer all the classic draft beers. But we have been known to experiment with local craft beers and breweries. Again, we want to offer what people want to drink. So, we welcome comments and suggestions. There is a good chance that if we don’t have your favorite the first time you come in, if you let us know, it will be there the next time you “come home, to El Patron.”
What has surprised you most about having a restaurant?
It really is as difficult as people say to make a profit in the restaurant business. You better love what you are doing, because it is not for the faint of heart or wallet. At the same time, however, if you enjoy making people happy (and can take criticism from all quarters) it is like no other line of work. It is much more exciting and fun than I expected, offering endless opportunities to experiment and explore ways to improve on classic dishes and create new and wonderful offerings. The goal has become to find (commercially successful) ways to touch the palates and hearts of our friends /patrons. I did not see that coming.