Residents discovering new family run eatery

Published in the July 22 – Aug. 4, 2015 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Staff Report

Photo by Marty Cheek  Las Isabelas cook Jose Esquivias puts cheese on the top of a burrito in the kitchen of his new restaurant.

Photo by Marty Cheek
Las Isabelas cook Jose Esquivias puts cheese on the top of a burrito in the kitchen of his new restaurant.

Morgan Hill’s newest Mexican diner is Las Isabelas Restaurant — and it’s a family affair. Just ask Jose Esquivias, who works as the cook. His wife Angelica and his daughter, also Angelica, greet and serve patrons while his son Martin helps during the weekends in the kitchen. The unusual name comes from combining the first name of Jose’s father Isabela and other daughter Isabela.

“It’s a family business. If you come in at any time, you’ll see my wife and me and our kids working,” said Jose who spends much of his time cooking up traditional Mexican cuisine in the kitchen of the small and intimate restaurant located at the T-intersection of Monterey Road and Cosmo Avenue.

The Esquivias family ran a restaurant called Savor Mexico for nine years in Mountain View and it was popular with Silicon Valley business workers. Then circumstances forced them to leave their location.

“Where we were at, our lease was over and owners started doing construction,” Jose’s daughter Angelica said. “So we had to leave because they were going to tear down the building. So we moved here to Morgan Hill. We serve traditional Mexican food from where my father is from, Jalisco, Mexico. We make everything fresh.”

Jose describes the cuisine as “very different” from many other Mexican restaurants because he uses recipes from his hometown and is proud to share that taste.

“Many restaurants cook for an American taste, but here it’s more Mexican style, traditional Mexican,” he said.

Morgan Hill residents are still discovering Las Isabelas since it opened on Mother’s Day on May 10, Angelica said.

“We get mostly families who come in the afternoon and dinner time,” she said. “If they come here to eat, it feels like they’re at home. It’s nice and fun.”

Children usually have the taco special with rice and beans, she said. But the restaurant has a varied menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Among the most popular dishes with customers are the chili verde and chili releno and seafood platters.

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Breakfast is served from 9 to 11 a.m. and Las Isabelas serves at this time seven “desayuno” dishes including chilaquiles verdes o rojos ($6.99) strips of fried corn tortillas with onions simmered in green or red salsa, topped with cheese, and served with rice and beans. Other breakfast items including huevos con chorizo ($6.99) and two breakfast burritos ($4.99 each) made of either chorizo or fresh ham.

Las Isabelas offers a large variety of lunch and dinner menu items from burritos, tortas (a Mexican sandwich), fajitas, enchiladas and seafood.
Among the most popular seafood selections is the seafood a la diabla ($11.99), a shrimp and seafood combination sautéed in a very spicy sauce with garlic.

The fajitas de pollo ($9.99) with chicken sautéed with bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes is also popular. The chile reyenos ($9.99) is a cheese-stuffed pasilla pepper topped with salsa ranchera.

The restaurant’s décor is a fun tropical beach style, with painted murals on the walls depicting a sandy beach overlooking coastal rocks.
The owners are currently having their alcohol license transferred and expect to serve alcohol starting in August when they receive the license.

Las Isabelas

Location: 16410 Monterey Road
Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
Contact: (408) 612-4994 or visit lasisabelas.com.

Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi is the editor of Morgan Hill Life newspaper. If you have a story idea or an Around Town column item you want to tell him about, you can reach him at (408) 427-5865 or at editor@morganhilllife.com.
Robert Airoldi