Manos Nouveau. [Photo: Caitlin S./Yelp]
For the last two years, Sons & Daughters alum Val Cantu has been fine-tuning his refined Mexican cuisine concept, Californios, with a series of pop-ups and appearances around town. Now, word comes that Cantu has secured a brick-and-mortar location at 3115 22nd Street, the current location of Manos Nouveau.
Though Mission native Manuel Montalban opened Manos Nouveau less than nine months ago, it appears that the restaurant and its Yucatecan chefs are on the way out to make way for Californios, which is targeting a two-month turnaround with a November opening date in mind. According to Inside Scoop, Cantu's plans include making the space more open, which would take capacity down to a very petite 25 seats. Conveniently, Cantu's wife is a designer for Ken Fulk, and she'll be the driving force behind the interior design.
Making Californios even more of a family affair Cantu will be joined by his sister-in-law, Charlotte Randolph, a recent French Laundry alum who will be running the front-of-house. For his part, Cantu hopes to create a new conception of Mexican cuisine while sidestepping the pitfalls of opening an "upscale" Mexican restaurant, especially in the Mission. Cantu plans to have a relatively affordable (for fine dining) tasting menu offering, with a $45 four-course menu and $75 seven-to-ten course menu.