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Angelanos homestyle cooking lures diners
Angelanos owner Ali Rezaie and Manager Jackie Mora scan the restaurants menu. After opening in the space left vacant by David and Sylvias in February, the family dining establishment has built a dedicated customer base. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL

Don’t expect Angelano’s owner and Chef Ali Rezaie to make any appearances in the dining area.

It just isn’t the style of the shy and somewhat reclusive restaurateur who has spent just over 32 years in the business and recently took a chance by opening in the vacant space once occupied by David and Sylvia’s.

Specializing in family dining with an Italian focus, Angelano’s – which also showcases steaks and seafood – has been open since February and has slowly built a steady following with customers that appreciate the quality food and service as well as the competitive prices.

“You’re not going to find this quality of food at this price anywhere else,” said restaurant manager Jackie Mora. “It’s such a family atmosphere. It’s like having somebody over for dinner every night of the week – we already have lots of regulars and you start to get to know everybody.”

And don’t expect to find pre-made food when you order up something from the kitchen at this restaurant.

Rezaie makes sure that each and every order is made from scratch and works hard to ensure that there is consistency in everything that is ordered. It is a tough task for someone that doesn’t use prepared products as a shortcut.

But the summer season has given the restaurant a leg up on the competition.

After securing a booth at the Library Park farmer’s market – offering up homemade lasagna and garlic bread to customers – the number of people walking through the door started to increase. Word of mouth started to spread about the relatively new eatery and the Italian favorite quickly became the most popular thing on the menu.

It’s that home-style approach, Mora said, that people truly appreciate.

“We make everything here, right down to the garlic butter,” she said. “It’s something that people appreciate and it keeps with that idea of having everything fresh.”

Rezaie put his own personal touches inside of the restaurant – changing the lighting to brighten things up a bit, adding antiques to give the interior a rustic flair and posting a host at the front door to give an official feel to things. He hopes to use the front lounge as a place where people can enjoy the occasional glass of wine.

Hiring of additional wait staff is currently underway with the hopes of employing about 15 people – enough to adequately serve customers but not too many as to ruin the atmosphere he worked so hard to create.

“We want to keep that family atmosphere and that environment for the people who come in and enjoy their dinner,” he said. “Owning a restaurant has always been dream – ever since I started in this business when I was 17. I was excited when I finally got the chance to do it in Apple Hill, and I’m glad to be here in Manteca.”

Angelano’s is located at 1020 N. Main Street in the Cardoza Shopping Center in between the Delta Blood Bank and Rite Aid. The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. For additional information call (209) 823-6666.