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Kalaveraz Cocina-Cantina on Bar Rescue: Everything We Know

May 3, 2020
4 min read

‘Bar Rescue’ is not new to us, considering the show started in 2011 and has been giving us more and more reasons to be invested and interested in it. Jon Taffer has a special eye, especially when it comes to giving broken and watered down businesses a special touch it needs. Not just any business but the ones in the food and beverage industry, like bars and pubs.  Season after season, his sharp observations, cut to the chase attitude has not only entertained us but also helped various bar businesses. In the all new episode, titled “Raging Turkey”, that aired on May 3, 2020, Taffer transforms a Mexican bar and restaurant named Kalaveras Cocina Cantina. Let’s know a little more about this food paradise. 

Kalaveraz Cocina Cantina (Sierra Madre Cantina): What Does it Serve?

Kalaveraz is a Mexican Bar and Cuisine in Escondido, CA, owned by Juan Magana. One cannot perhaps forget the grief and challenge it was for Taffer to bring a turn about for this one, especially since the owner was on a ‘slightly’ different page about the business than the rest. In any case, it was still an experience to look at his bar that is rooted in the Latino culture. The bar makeover also came with a suggestion to change its name to Sierra Madre Cantina.

The bar-restaurant aims to put a modern spin on classic Mexican dishes. Their signature dishes include Molcajetes, Tamarindo Wings, and Honey Chipotle Salmon. They also offer catering and options to host private parties. All one needs to do is visit their website to make the booking. At the moment, Kalaveraz is also hiring new staff. This is perhaps an attempt to extend their business. The drinks menu on their website is quite basic and not extensive enough. However, one can visit their website for online ordering.

The one thing that does stand out is their invite for various Mexican festivals and other events they celebrate, like Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, and Memorial Day. Kalaveraz has a Facebook Page that serves as a platform to virtually visit them through pictures and videos. One can also leave them reviews there. They have featured in a segment on Fox 5.

Sierra Madre Cantina on Fox 5's Be Our Guest

Sierra Madre Cantina was recently featured on Fox 5's Be Our Guest segment! Check it out — watch us cook up some of our favorite dishes and feature some of our favorite cocktails!

Posted by Sierra Madre Cantina on Friday, March 27, 2020

While this is great, their Facebook page also hosts a video that is a brief sneak peek into the dramatic fights that ensued between Magana and Taffer. 

A peak under the tent of what’s to come 😅

Posted by Sierra Madre Cantina on Friday, May 1, 2020

Kalaveraz Cocina Cantina Reviews Post Bar Rescue

Kalaveraz seems to be doing more or less the same way as they were before. Sure, they have incorporated some of the new strategies and ideas offered by Taffer, and it seems to have improved their business overall. However, a brief look at their reviews will tell us that it is quite a complicated situation. Some of its old customers attest that they were actually doing better before.

This place is ok, but it was better before bar rescue showed up.  The review below is for Kalaveraz not whatever bar rescue did to the place…”

Some reviews talk about the lack of zest in their food. It also makes Kalaveraz seem more of a restaurant than a bar, as the primary focus is on the food. This was one of the things pointed out by Taffer as well, with an additional tip to put up their bar menu on the website. The negative reviews are present consistently, especially on Yelp

Horrible customer service & food! I placed an order of 8 items over the phone for pick-up, and they messed up on all the orders! No attention to detail whatsoever.”

There are, however, many positive reviews, especially on their Facebook page, that recommends the place.

Great food and drinks and owner Juan is the best.

Posted by Al Owens on Sunday, March 1, 2020

Food is delicious .I highly recommend this place .Staff is really friendly and owner is verry attentive to his customers .

Posted by Lizbeth Avendano on Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The mixed bag of positive and negative reviews hint on the fact that they are more or less still on the path of trial and error. Hence, it seems like Magana and his restaurant certainly knows its goal, and seems to be set on a path to make Kalaveraz reach new heights.

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