LAS PALMAS - ONE ECLECTIC MENU
These Hungry Locals are at it again. With a hint of spice in our step, we decided it was time to go for some Latin, French, or Asian food. We asked ourselves, “Can we really please everyone’s taste in one place?” A friend suggested we try Las Palmas on Yajome Street, across from New Tech High School. We found the unassuming restaurant tucked behind a flowering trellis of vines, with plentiful seating indoors or out. The atmosphere is casual, come as you are, you will feel at home.
Las Palmas’ owners, Juan and Maria Lopez, and their very attentive staff, offer an enticing array of global cuisines. After immigrating to the United States in the late 1980’s, from Guanajuato, Mexico, to enrich their lives, Juan worked in a variety of Napa Valley restaurants. He moved up through the ranks and carved out a career as he went.
The hard copy menu and other menu items, written on a chalkboard on the wall of the main dining room, may seem disjointed, but when you know Juan and Maria’s history, it makes perfect sense. There is a sweet notation on the inside of the menu describing how it was created, and you will see, Juan gave his fellow migrants credit where credit was due!
The menu features a varied cuisine––American, French, Asian, Mexican––and more. Juan gets to show all his skills, and Maria’s Menu shines with her mother’s recipes from home. Spoiler alert––there are way too many items for us to describe in this column––if you are in a hurry, look at the menu online before you go, to narrow down your choices.
Our servers brought chips––and the most well-balanced, spicy, house-made salsa we’ve ever had. They quickly followed with our beverages. We were ready to order, and for once, we agreed to eat our own meals, these looked too good to share.
One tasty item was the Vegetarian Burrito––mushrooms, whole beans, lettuce, tomato, avocado, sour cream & cheese ($8.75). What a blast of flavor this burrito had. It was plenty big enough to feed an empty stomach to full, perfectly layered just how you want a burrito to be. The ingredients were evenly distributed. Burritos are also offered ‘wet’ with a choice red or green sauce and cheese. This made one hungry friend very happy.
Another great choice from the appetizer list was Pot Stickers, filled with ground pork and cabbage and drizzled with a touch of sweet chili sauce, accompanied with a side of soy and topped with a cilantro chiffonade ($5.95). This was the perfect fit for one of our lighter eaters. Mmmm, we’re getting hungry again just thinking about our meal. Who goes to a hispanic restaurant and doesn’t order the Nachos? Not us. With our choice of meat, Carne Asada (there are many other options), and the toppings: shredded cheese, refried beans, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, and jalapeño this made for one of the best stacks of chips we had in awhile ($8.50, with meat $10.95).
One of our hungry locals grew up down south, and when she saw the Chile Relleno it brought her back to her mother’s cooking. She dove right into the pasilla chile wrapped in a delicate blanket of scrambled egg, stuffed with Monterey cheese, and a light salsa ranchera ladled on top ($11.25). Shredded lettuce and pico de gallo garnished the plate. She loved the spice of the pepper, and it brought her back to her childhood.
From Maria’s Menu, one of the ladies ordered Sopes––soft masa tortillas, filled with beans, lettuce, tomato, house-made salsa, guacamole, sour cream and cheese. She selected no meat, but numerous options are available for anyone who may choose to do so. (One for $5.00 - two for $9.50). She also had the tasty Tortilla Soup, an appetizing bowl of chicken broth, Monterey cheese and pico de gallo ($5.95, add chicken $8.95).
The 14 oz. Rib Eye Steak is calling someone’s name! The Meaty Dinners: Maple Roasted Duck Breast, with cranberry cabernet sauce ($19.95), Double-Cut Pork Chop, with caramelized onions or tomatillo ($18.50), Rib-Eye Steak, with caramelized onion sauce ($25.95), or the Tampiqueña, Rib-Eye, cooked to your liking, served with bell peppers, onions, Monterey cheese, and tomatillo salsa ($26.95) are offered with a side of Veggies and a choice of Potato, garlic, mashed or the mouth-watering blue cheese gratin (which is as yummy as it sounds!) You may substitute Rice and Beans if you prefer. The Seafood Dinners are served with the same side choices ($15.75-$21.95).
Breakfast is served all day. Look at the menu online for the details of the choices. (Prices range from $9.25-$11.50.) There are burgers, soups and sandwiches to choose from if you are looking for a quick afternoon meal. Appetizers and ‘A Little Something Special’ sides should not be overlooked.
With such a large menu, the notation that all items are available, unless your server says otherwise, was an indication that these delectable choices are the foundation of Juan and Maria’s success.
The beverage selection is ample, Forty-four (yes, we counted!) imported and domestic beers are listed. Negra Modelo and Modelo Especial are on draft. Vinoce Wines are featured: chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and cabernet sauvignon ($6.25 glass, $26.00 by the bottle), with a $10.00 corkage fee. Flavored Margaritas ($6.50 per glass or $25 for the pitcher––bring your friends). Homemade Micheladas: composed of your favorite beer––in lime juice, clamato, tapatio, and maggi sauce––are available for an additional $1.50 to the price of your beer.
For the younger guest, or non-alcohol preferences, you won’t be disappointed either. Soft Drinks, and bottled Jarritos are displayed in abundant flavors. Snapple and fresh squeezed Orange, Carrot, or Beet juices are available, as well as Horchata, Iced Teas and MORE. When it’s cooler weather we’re coming back for the Mexican Chocolate.
Service was very quick and efficient. Every item came from the kitchen to the table at the same time, nice and hot. The gentlemen who waited on us kept a close eye on our beverages and any needs we had. We enjoyed the time we spent at Las Palmas. It’s a bustling atmosphere; you know most of these diners were already aware of the delicious meal they’re about to order. This was a house full of locals enjoying a meal among friends. Juan wandered the room and checked on guests as he passed. We recognized him for the photo on the wall. Almost every seat in the house was filled; as one group finished dining, the tables were quickly cleared and made ready for the next guests.
If you aren’t quite up for a whole meal, or you’re looking for a quick snack and cool treat for the kids after school––be sure to visit LP Express! Next door to the restaurant, at 1740 Yajome, the Lopez family continues to cover the culinary bases with Frozen Treats, Spicy Sorbet and Snow Cones. There are Aquas Frescas, flavors alternate and delicious snacks you won’t find elsewhere in town (that we know of). Corn on the Cob is dressed with lime, mayonnaise, parmesan cheese and chile powder. Cuer Do is a wheat puffed chip with pickled pig skin, tomato, onion, cilantro and lime and Valentina. The Fruit Cups (offered seasonally) look especially appetizing. ‘LP Express!’ was closed when we dined in the restaurant––but we will be back when they’re open to try the corn on the cob, Banana Splits, Ice Cream Nachos and more!
It isn’t easy to to find a place in town to accommodate so many appetites at once. This evening we were impressed, in fact, we plan to return very soon. We hope you enjoy Las Palmas too! 707.257.1514 | 1730 Yajome Street, NapA | napalaspalmas.com
Monday - Saturday 11 AM - 9 PM, Closed Sunday