It all began in Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico in 1975 with a young enterprising man with a dream and a love for fire-grilled chicken.
Pancho Ochoa sold everything and opened the first El Pollo Loco in the shell of his former shoe store.
Using a cherished family recipe handed down through generations, Pancho Ochoa began selling his chicken to the local community.
Pancho’s citrus-marinated chicken caught on in Guasave, and soon there was more pollo on the grill and more customers in line.
Alvarado Street, Los Angeles, 1980. The first El Pollo Loco opened in L.A. serving authentic, Mexican style chicken that quickly became a local favorite.
Pancho’s family recipe of citrus, garlic and spices, was an immediate hit. Since then, El Pollo Loco has grown to nearly 500 restaurants in 6 states.
Today, we still always cut your pollo to order, fresh from the grill. Just the way Pancho did.
We may not have been born in L.A. But it has been our home for the last forty years.
Los Angeles opened her sprawling, bustling arms to us and made us who we are today.
We’ve grown up together, starting with just one restaurant on Alvarado Street and becoming a SoCal staple.
We’ve been proudly feeding families in the communities we serve since 1980.
We never take shortcuts. It takes us 55 minutes to cook a single piece of chicken.
We hand chop and slice over 280,000 tomatoes for our fresh made salsas every single day.
It all comes down to fresh. Fresh salsas made from scratch, fresh sliced avocados and of course, fresh, never frozen, fire-grilled chicken. Because maximum freshness means maximum flavor.Learn More