Making diners happy has been owner Valentina Torres’s goal since she opened her first restaurant in Brentwood 13 years ago. “She enjoys seeing her customers leave their plates clean,” said son and manager Damiel Torres. “She cooks with love.”
One restaurant specialty is Chiles Rellenos ($8.99): fresh Anaheim bell peppers stuffed with jack cheese, breaded, fried and served in a secret-recipe sauce. Other favorites include Carne Asada ($10.99), a plate of marinated beef strips, and Carnitas ($8.99), roasted pork.
For those with a taste for American fare, Jalisco’s serves salads, omelets and sandwiches. If you’re in the mood for something more adventurous, you can order Higado Ence Bollado: beef liver with tomatoes and onions. More traditional Mexican options are available as well, including burritos, fajitas and tostadas.
Jalisco’s offers $5.99 lunch specials, and if you arrive before noon you can order the $3.99 breakfast special, which includes three breakfast items such as ham, linguica or a Belgian waffle.
Valentina learned to cook from her grandmother at the age of 7. She lived in the Mexican state of Jalisco, so when her family moved to the United States and opened their Brentwood restaurant, the name Jalisco’s was a perfect fit. Taking the cue from the Brentwood Jalisco’s popularity, Torres opened the Bethel Island restaurant in May of 2010. Some of the restaurant’s food, such as the tortilla soup, is prepared with spices and flavors particular to the state of Jalisco. “It’s as authentic as you can get,” said Damiel.
After moving to the United States in 1988, Valentina worked in a Mexican restaurant for four years, and then five in an American eatery. Her experience with both styles of food led to the decision to offer diversity – American alongside traditional Mexican cuisine – at Jalisco’s.
The new Bethel Island location enjoys a steady stream of regulars, including folks who used to drive out to the Brentwood restaurant. It also attracts new customers, many of whom visit the island for boating, fishing or golfing. “The food is always great!” said one customer. “Every time we come to the island, we eat here.”
Though running a business is a challenge, Torres believes it’s worth it. She provides jobs to her employees and great food to her customers, is proud of the accomplishment of owning two successful restaurants – and grateful for the support of the community.
Located at 6256 Bethel Island Road, Jalisco’s is open Sundays through Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Call 925-684-9634.