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In the Late 70's, two youngsters from Tepatitlan, Jalisco found each other in Los Angeles, California. They began dating and working together in a popular dinner. My mother, Rafaela, soon became head cashier while my father, Jose, was put in charge of training new cooks for all the chains locations. Over the years they honed their craft, started a family and worked crazy hours with the goal of one day opening their own business. Since the restaurant was open 24 hours my father, on more than one occasion, came to work 48 hours straight covering cooks that didn't show and still taking care of his own shifts.
After over a decade of hard work and sacrifice, they responded to an advertisement in a newspaper. A restaurant was being put up for sale in Baldwin Park. They made the drive to Baldwin Park from Los Angeles and fell in love with the city. The restaurant was a quaint little spot called Garduno's in abuilding that used to house a drive in back when car hops would take your order from your ride. My parents took the leap and bought the restaurant in 1987.
I grew up at Garduno's. My parents couldn't take days off so even my birthday parties would be held in the parking lot. I worked along side them, went to culinary school and became a classically trained chef. After working with some of the most respected Chefs in LA, I came back to the kitchen and city I love and my family to elevate the cuisine in my home town while keeping the soul of our humble eatery. We feel strongly that quality dishes shouldn't just be served in expensive restaurants and work every day to give our customers more than they expect.
Don Jose celebrating Jose Jr's birthday
Don Jose & Dona Rafaela 1977