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Restaurant Review: Café Cabo brings Baja style to downtown La Verne

The restaurant Café Cabo opened in December on D Street in La Verne. The restaurant is family owned and operated by Judy Moore, Terese Apodaca and A.J. Apodaca, three University of La Verne alumni who proudly display their diplomas in the restaurant. Loretta Alva, who works as a hostess, says the name was derived from the Mexican city of Cabo San Lucas. / photo by Candice Salazar

Michael Phillips
Copy Editor

Mexican food is one of my favorite types of food so walking into Café Cabo on D Street I had high expectations.

Walking through the double doors, I entered a large eating area, arranged with large wooden booths on the right side of the restaurant, while the center contained long tables and chair seating. The walls on the left of the restaurant were painted a cream color, while the walls on the right contained a series of murals painted by a member of the owner’s family depicting places in the city of Cabo.

I was given a menu consisting of a variety of Mexican entrées prepared Baja style, such as tacos, burritos, quesadillas, chicharrones, salads, tortas and much more.

I couldn’t decide between the Cabo bowl, a carne asada and pico de gallo burrito or the Cabo quesadilla. The Cabo bowl was a bowl with rice and beans and your choice of toppings. The meats listed ranged from chile Colorado, grilled chicken, vegetables and other things. The Cabo quesadilla is served with beans, lettuce, cheese and a choice of meat with guacamole and sour cream.

I chose the Cabo quesadilla with chicken. While waiting for my meal I indulged in the basket of tortilla chips and salsa. The tortilla chips came with two salsas, a red and a green. The red was chunky and had a milder taste while the green salsa was thinner and was very spicy.

My food arrived quickly. The quesadilla was fairly large, and the chicken was very tender and flavorful. By the time I finished my meal I was more than full.

Café Cabo is a family-owned restaurant run by husband and wife Jim and Judy Moore.

“Our most popular (dishes) are the chili verde and chili rellenos,” Jim Moore said.

The restaurant makes everything fresh from their tortillas to their rice and beans. Instead of keeping their rice and beans in a warmer the chefs cook their rice and beans as needed throughout the day.

Café Cabo has been open for about six weeks and has been welcomed by the La Verne community.

“For my wife it has been a long time dream. It’s all from her mother and her recipes,” Jim Moore said.

Judy Moore, her daughter and her son are all University of La Verne alumni, which is what motivated the Moores to open up the restaurant in downtown La Verne.

I visited Café Cabo once more last week and tried a wet carne asada and pico de gallo burrito. The servers were friendly and attentive, offering refills on my beverage and chips.

My food arrived fairly quickly and the burrito was large and packed full of meat. The burrito was covered in cheese and mild red sauce that soaked into the warm flaky tortilla and was served with a side of delicious Spanish rice.

I savored the taste of the tender chunks of carne asada. The flavorful mix of pico de gallo, beans and sour cream were a delectable combination. Halfway through my burrito I was very full.

After getting a takeout box for the remainder of my meal, the waitress brought a plate of banuelos, which are essentially toasted tortilla chips covered in brown sugar and cinnamon.

For a college student on a budget the food might be a bit pricey but the restaurant offers a 10 percent discount to ULV students and faculty. They also offer menu items al a carte for a cheaper price. There is also a La Verne VIP card which after nine visits provides the customer with a free meal.

Michael Phillips can be reached at michael.phillips2@laverne.edu.

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