Another gem has found it’s way into Palos Verdes with a few familiar faces helming the ship. Chef Rafael Solórzano who is responsible for the menus at Delzano’s, Lou-e-Lueys and Lunada Bayhouse has opened Alfredo Garcias along with partners Brian Cull and David Letchworth. The location could not be more convenient for the three with Lunada Bayhouse being a stone’s throw away. Don’t expect the décor to look anything close to their previous restaurants because Alfredo Garcias has a very eclectic approach. Brian Cull’s inspiration for the décor came from a photo of homes in the town of Guanajuato, Mexico. Brian showed the photo to local designer Toritajo Sanders and the rest is history.
For partner David Letchworth, Alfredo Garcias has been in the works, on and off, for the past 4-5 years but for Chef Rafael, this has been a lifelong passion and he is determined to show the community exactly why. Chef Rafael plans on creating a menu that will focus on seasonal products which will attribute directly to the freshness of each drink and dish. The response so far from the community has been great and after trying a few of the dishes, we can definitely see what everyone is talking about.
When a menu is too large, I get very concerned because the quality of the ingredients are usually the first to be sacrificed. Luckily, the menu at Alfredo Garcias is concise and to the point with a focus on Mexican favorites and some spectacular offerings which are pretty unique to the area. We started off with enchiladas to get a taste of this popular dish and see how they compete. Our lobster enchilada was fully packed with huge chunks of lobster accompanied by a rich guajillo chili sauce which complements seafood very well because there is a lack of heat with this particular pepper. The chicken enchilada is a dish that everyone needs to try when first visiting Alfredo Garcias and the reason is their homemade mole sauce. I have tasted mole in many restaurants throughout the country and this a true example of a perfect sauce. Tasting mole is like tasting wine because with every taste you will discover a new flavor. In Chef Rafael’s mole, you will find flavors of chocolate, cumin, cloves, garlic, the list goes on. Chef Rafael’s mole sauce is a flavor bomb of epic proportions and if you think I’m going a bit overboard, you need to go taste for yourself. Another menu item definitely worth mentioning is the delicious cochinita pibil which is slowly cooked pork shoulder wrapped in banana leaves with an ending result of tender marinated pork that melts in your mouth.
If drinks are what you are after, then you are in luck, Chef Rafael uses on fresh fruit and juices to create his signature cocktails like his margaritas and sangria. They have plenty of beer by the bottles with four on tap all with a focus on Mexican imports. With a growing wine region in Baja, Mexico it’s great to see them offering glasses of wine from L.A. Cetto, one of the oldest wineries in Mexico.
There are no shortage of Mexican restaurants throughout the South Bay but finding a particular one to call home can be somewhat of a challenge. The patrons in Palos Verdes are extremely lucky to have Chef Rafael creating signature dishes in an area where not too many venture into. Palos Verdes – as far as a destination spot – is still off the radar to a certain degree especially when it comes to dining. Alfredo Garcias is slowly starting to transform the dining culture in Palos Verdes and it will be interesting to see if more restaurants come along for the ride.
- Mexican Mole Has Many Flavors, Many Mothers (wnyc.org)
- One-on-one with: Marcela Valladolid (utsandiego.com)
- [Guest Post] Tacos, Enchiladas, and Mole: Mexican Culinary Staples With A Twist (thecultureur.com)