After living near Belmont Shore for five years, moving to Park Estates was a big adjustment. Most changes were positive: bigger yards, similar aged families, sense of community,
etc. But a major negative for us, was the lack of walkability to establishments and in general, going anywhere on foot. Walkability is a big deal to a lot of people. Real estate websites now give walkability scores to listed properties for sale. It’s a great option to avoid having to get in a car and tax the environment, or to increase your physical activity level and it’s so nice not to have to get an Uber for dinner.

In 2011 , El Burrito Grill (EBG) opened in Park Estates, giving all Park Estates residents an improved walkability score by providing authentic Mexican cuisine. Jose Diaz and his wife Haydee are not only the owners of EBG in Park Estates, but also the EBG in Lakewood Village in Long Beach, which opened in 2009. Jose grew up in the restaurant business. He worked in his family’s restaurant El Burrito, Jr in Seal Beach, CA. As a young boy, Jose participated in numerous activities to help his family’s business. He recalls bringing chips and salsa to the customers, shredding lettuce, taking orders or emptying the trash. Whatever his parents needed, Jose was a willing participant. Little did he know, the restaurant business was becoming embedded in his DNA.

Jose thought he would choose a different path than that of his parents. He would serve the community and pursue law enforcement. He earned a baccalaureate degree in Criminology and minored in Business Administration. For a few years, he did work in law enforcement, all the while, the thought of opening his own restaurant flickered in the back of his mind. Jose could no longer deny that his passion lie in the restaurant industry and that his parents provided him with the necessary tools and recipes of operating his own restaurant.

The success of EBG lies in its authenticity of the Mexican cuisine. The scratch made salsas and other recipes, Jose teamed from his parents. He takes a personal interest in selecting all the vegetables, meats and pantry ingredients that enter his restaurants. EBG is well known for their infamous beans and salsa, wet burritos and fajita plates. Diners have the option of sitting outside and partaking in happy hour or coming on Taco Tuesday to enjoy discounted tacos.

In addition to EBG being Jose’s personal success story, Jose is vested in his community of Long Beach and gives back. Through his restaurants, he supports local organizations and schools, including our very own Minnie Gant Elementary. Jose was also an integral member of the Park Estates’ based coed softball league, Where My Pitches At? sponsored through Long Beach Parks and Recreation. During softball season, he would ensure all the children of the players were well fed.

Next time you’re feeling hungry and don’t want to cook, do yourself a favor and check out El Burrito Grill in Park Estates. Walk on over and improve your own personal walkability
score. In so doing, you’ve earned the right for a cocktail or two and can just walk on home, burning off that delicious dinner!

By Ruth Yuan


Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar