Over the years my husband and I, and the three girls, frequented Village Kitchen on a monthly basis. Not only was Mexican food served, but a variety of other foods as well. At that time they served breakfast, lunch and dinner. The five of us could easily eat for under $15, and that usually included drinks and a desert.
Over the years since my husband passed away, I have still had meals there, but it probably has been at least 18 months since I was there last. Things have changed internally, but the restaurant is still the same restaurant it was back in 1987.
For one thing they are not open for dinner any more. I asked Liz and Ileana, Lopez’s two daughters, why they stopped serving dinner and they said that people do not eat the same things that they used to eat – lamb chops, soups, etc. People are more “sophisticated” now; eat healthier, at least in Ocean Beach, and the items that Lopez was famous for just doesn’t have enough call for them any more.
Hugh and I wanted to go see a 9:30 a.m. movie on the Saturday before Christmas. I thought we could go to Village Kitchen and have a fast meal and still make the movie on time. I was right, but I did not count on the nostalgia that presented itself when I walked in the door.
The special menu board is still in the doorway; there are still the two tables at the window and the row of booths along the side. The counter is still by the cash register. Even the menu hasn’t changed significantly. (There is no take-out menu, per se, but there is a menu online, even though some of the items have changed.)
Hugh decided to have the Spanish Omelet, and he had his choice of fruit, hash browns, cottage cheese. He would have liked rice or beans but it would have cost a little more.
I ordered a two-egg omelet with mushrooms and onions, and, when offered the same sides, had the fresh fruit. Hugh had a cup of coffee, which was refilled continually, and I had a cup of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream.
And when I say that nothing has changed, I mean just that. The omelet was as good as I remembered it. The fruit was ripe and there was a lot of it. The hot chocolate was delicious.
Hugh said that the sauce on his Spanish Omelet was wonderful; some of the best that he has ever had. The coffee was hot and satisfying.
I asked Liz about the rumor that I had heard about them closing. She said that Lopez – her dad – said that as long as he could get into the kitchen, the place would remain open. She suspects it will be open for another 10 years, at least.
I was pleased to see that the entire time we were there a steady stream of customers kept coming in. Many were “old-timers.” I knew several of them.
What I now hope is that the younger generation give it a try. The cost is right; the food is good; and the service is excellent! Our meal cost us about $24, including the tip.
4853 Newport Ave.