food_1123_231111 Rancho Viejo Road, San Juan Capistrano. 949.218.1158. www.solagavesjc.com

Folks were excited when Sol Agave moved from a food truck to a brick and mortar restaurant off Rancho Viejo Road. They were so excited, supposedly, that Sol Agave quickly moved across the parking lot to a bigger, stylish building within a year.

The new digs are swanky, with a sleek tequila bar and wine cabinet, funky light fixtures, and a generally bouncy atmosphere amongst the friendly staff and lively patrons.

What’s clear is that Sol Agave’s physical environment was elevated to match the quality of its food. From truck to first shop to new shop, their modern take on Mexican food has garnered a duly rabid following.

The chile colorado came at the recommendation of the waiter. Three medallions of braised short rib were arranged next to onion-cilantro white rice. The short ribs had been soaked in a beer and pepper sauce, creating a bite that was bright on the front of the tongue and savory like sweet mud on the back of the tongue. —Matt Cortina

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