Kalaveras Mexican restaurant expands to Temecula and Montclair – San Bernardino Sun

Observant foodies like Redondo Beach resident Jackie Cuevas, took notice of the Day of the Dead-themed restaurants that began popping up all over the area.

She spotted the first one a few months ago after moving into her new neighborhood. She was drawn in by the bright, graffiti-style artwork painted on the dark walls. She also took note of the Latin, reggaeton and rap music being played, the creatively presented cocktails and the sizzling plates of food that passed by at the busy Kalaveras restaurant. Pressed for time, she wasn’t able to break for a bite, but it definitely caught her attention.

A couple of weeks later, while on her lunch break, she came across a similar-style restaurant on Pico Boulevard in West Los Angeles.

“It was another Kalaveras and this time I decided to give it a shot, and wow, I’m all about it now and I’m always looking out for them,” she said as she sat inside the West Los Angeles location. Kalaveras is a rapidly growing restaurant chain whose young trio of owners are looking to redefine modern Mexican dining in neighborhoods around Southern California as they build a family-backed restaurant empire.

“This is the future of Mexican restaurants,” said 31-year-old Isaias Ocampo Brito, who along with his cousins, 32-year-old Angel Bahena and 29-year-old Daniel Brito, are behind the expanding chain. “It’s a restaurant that every city needs. It’s popping with bright colors, music and not just traditional Mexican food, but with more of a twist.”

The first Kalaveras location opened in Bellflower in 2016. Currently, the cousins own and operate 13 Kalaveras restaurants, including eateries in Montebello, Redondo Beach, Whittier, San Pedro, Chino Hills, West Los Angleles, Puente Hills, Pasadena, Riverside, Silver Lake and the newly opened locations in Rancho Cucamonga and Santa Monica.

But, the young restaurateurs are far from being done with the expansion.

Within the next year, the cousins plan on doubling their local footprint with 13 more restaurants opening in Burbank, Covina, Monrovia, North Hollywood, Corona, Marina Del Rey, Simi Valley, Temecula, Long Beach, Montclair, Orange, Newport Beach and Fullerton.

“It’s wonderful,” Bahena said. “It’s amazing. I think it’s beautiful to see an empire build up and who better to do it with than your family.”

Cuisine and cocktails

Like Cuevas, Redondo Beach resident Jesse Bobbett gave Kalaveras a shot after seeing the inviting decor and energy of the place.

“It feels like Mexico City when you’re here,” said Bobbett, a regular at the Redondo Beach location. “It’s the environment, it’s vibrant, it’s colorful, it’s festive.”

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