Ever wonder what happened to David Valiante, the tequila-loving bartender at Fullerton's Matador Cantina? Well, for a while he was tending bar for Gabrielle Dion at Broadway by Amar Santana, but then left to pursue his own mysterious projects.
Well, he's surfaced, and his project was the Surfin' Cowboy, a new craft cocktail bar and restaurant in the Capistrano Beach section of Dana Point. He is the general manager and designed the drinks menu.
There have been pictures of apple bitters and bacon-infused bourbon and all manner of what people who aren't me call "mixology"; Valiante's a lover of all things agave, so expect plenty of tequilas and mezcales. Also, unbelievably for South County, the place actually stays open late--they're open 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m.-1 a.m. Sunday.
The menu is burgers, sandwiches, bar snacks, salads and specials by Sima Ganaba, formerly of the Resort at Pelican Hill, who's been putting up pictures of her experimentation on Twitter and Facebook. There's weekend brunch, too, with omelettes and panc... uh... flapjacks.
The Surfin' Cowboy is located at 34235 Doheny Park Rd., Capistrano Beach; (949) 272-5957; thesurfincowboy.com (caution: auto-play gun sounds, and you'll get more information from their Facebook page). The restaurant opens at 11 a.m. today.