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Serving up Latin heat & flavor
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Naresh Patel knew there was potential in the old taqueria next to his business on West Yosemite Ave.
So he bought it, poured money into renovating it, and next week will unveil Manteca’s first tapas-style restaurant when he presents Cabana Del Sol to a community that claims to be starving for restaurant options.
And he’s excited.
The local businessman said that he got his feet in the restaurant business when he helped a friend launch a new one from scratch in Dublin, and hopes that he can replicate the experience here by turning an aging building into a destination near one of Manteca’s most heavily-traveled intersections.
“It’s going to be a blend of modern Latin heat and flavor – more fusion food,” Patel said. “It’ll be a mixture of different things with different influences, and it’s something that I think people are going to like.”
The restaurant, which served Mexican food prior to its closing 18 months ago, has been overhauled with new intimate place settings, a new décor, and a modern bar with blue backlighting and three side-by-side flat-panel televisions built into it to give a sleek finish.
More than 50 different wines will be available for customers, and cocktails ranging from standard to unique will grace an assortment of liquor staples like bourbon, scotch and vodka for those looking to enjoy a libation or two while lounging inside of the chic interior.
Patel said that when looking for what Manteca needed in terms of the restaurant, he noticed that there were a lot of standard taquerias as well as a strong following for high-end dining experiences thanks to the likes of Ernie’s Food and Spirits which draws people from throughout San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties.
So he shot for the middle with a menu that is varied and focuses heavily on the small portion Spanish-inspired tapas approach – small portions of delicious appetizer-style dishes usually enjoyed with wine.
“We wanted to make a place where middle-aged people can come and enjoy good food and drinks and not have to worry about anything,” Patel said. “We’re not going for the younger, rowdier crowd but people that know what they enjoy and want a place that will give that to them. We think that’s what we’ve done.”
Customers will be able to enjoy things like the camarones al ajillio – prawns sautéed with garlic and peppers and served on a toasted baguette – as well as empanada del sol, a pastry with choice of vegetables or ground beef, onions, peppers and cilantro served with spicy red chili sauce and cilantro crema. Both are available of the tapas menu, as is their take on the Mexican staple albondigas, which are juicy angus beef meatballs in a savory marinara sauce and served with a toasted rusted baguette.
Patel’s own Indian influence can be seen in some of the spices that are included in the dishes as well.
Cabana Del Sol is located at 1124 Yosemite Avenue, and once open – Patel expects to get the final clearance on Monday – will be greeting customers from 11 a.m. to midnight daily. For more information call 209.629.8290.