Santana-inspired Maria Maria restaurant in Mill Valley closes

Full story: Marin Independent Journal

The Maria Maria restaurant in Mill Valley - conceived by Marin rock star Carlos Santana - closed its doors abruptly on Sunday.

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Cantina Fan

San Rafael, CA

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#1
Apr 8, 2010
 
Those of us who were regulars at the Cantina for 25 years knew from the get-go that Maria Maria was a disaster. We might have forgiven the unnecessary, instant makeover of the familiar place we enjoyed, but what Maria Maria did to the menu was shockingly dumb. What had been decent California-style Mexican food that appealed to many families became uninteresting and poorly prepared food that looked like and tasted like it came out of frozen-dinner packages. The red enchilada sauce Maria Maria used tasted like undiluted Campbell's tomato soup. When the atmosphere lacks style or charm or even just basic attractiveness, when the service is lackadaisical, when the food is unpalatable, and when the prices are unjustifiably high, there's no surprise when a place like Maria Maria folds in the middle of the week. Good riddance!(Sure wish we had the Cantina back again!)
No Way

Larkspur, CA

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#2
Apr 8, 2010
 
Surprised it lasted this long. The place wasn't very good.

The Cantina sucked too.
DSE is a BAD COMPANY

Livermore, CA

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#3
Apr 8, 2010
 
I was a regular at Maria, Maria and after what Dudum Sports & Entertainment (DSE - the parent company for BOTH Maria, Maria and The Cantina) did to those employees by giving them no notice of the closing, refusing them breaks and bouncing their paychecks, I for one will never support any of their business ventures again. DSE treats it's employees like crap and needs to be held accountable for their poor business practices.
Oh, and I thought the food was DELICIOUS at Maria, Maria....Cantina Fan probably didn't try the duck tacos...mmm!
TGP

San Francisco, CA

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#4
Apr 8, 2010
 
Maria Maria SUCKED!!!!! Seriously, bring back the Cantina.
Novato1

Novato, CA

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#5
Apr 8, 2010
 
Who cares. stop ur whining & go to Sizzler.
resident of town

AOL

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#6
Apr 8, 2010
 
the food sucked, bordering on disgusting
Dr HK Sachwady

Mill Valley, CA

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#7
Apr 8, 2010
 
Decrying the lack of corporate food in Marin County after the closing of "Diarrhia, Diarrhia"?

You can go to the Harmony Cafe in Strawberry for the Twice Chewed Pork, flavor profile dictated by a marketing department zombie in an office building in Costa Mesa.

There's always Pasta Pomodoro with it's fake olive oil - perfect for Mill Valley.
NorthBayRover

San Rafael, CA

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#8
Apr 8, 2010
 
Do we have a Sizzler in Marin?

Since: Feb 08

Hana, HI

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#9
Apr 8, 2010
 
I used to go to the Cantina for dinner and to the bar on weekends. It was our local meat market. But I have never been to the place since it was changed to Maria Maria. But I do like Santana's album Supernatural that was recorded in Sausalito that has the song Maria Maria on it.
But after reading about the DSE company, I'm glad I never went there.
Mill Valley Native

United States

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#10
Apr 8, 2010
 
The Cantina was never great, but at least good for sit down mexican fare. We tried Maria Maria once, and that was it.
Jess

San Rafael, CA

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#11
Apr 8, 2010
 
That place is a bratatorium with screaming children running around. Arrogant trust fund housewives patronize (d) it.
Mill Valley

Larkspur, CA

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#12
Apr 8, 2010
 
Yeah everybody knew that Maria Maria sucked, the food was straight up horrible. I wouldn't be surprised if Santana stopped by for a cameo, tasted the food and told'em to SHUT DOWN EVERYTHING.

Anyway, bring back the Cantina. The service sucked but at least they had alright food. Until then I'll be at Antigua.
Melba

San Rafael, CA

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#13
Apr 8, 2010
 
NorthBayRover wrote:
Do we have a Sizzler in Marin?
San Pedro Road, although it closed over a year ago.

You wouldn't put paraffin based oil in a ferrari would you? Then why go out and eat corporate factory "food" which is all the same chemical laden processed, frozen, boxed, trucked, bar coded, microwaved, deep fried junk that is sold at
Round Table, Chilis, Denny's, Olive Garden, CoCo's, Chevy's, Burger King, McDonald's , Cheesecake Factory, Carl's Jr, Wendy's etc., often from the very same warehouse and drop shipped on shrink-wrapped pallets off the same trucks that make their rounds from mall to mall.
J.R. Simplot potatoes and coke syrup and Iowa Beef Packers "meat" consisting of ground up cattle muscle, tumors, pus, rodents etc, are the same at every fast food terminal countrywide.
The only difference is the TV commercials, the menus and the corporate branded image.
Learn where your local farmer's market is folks. Learn to cook simple nutritious food.
Eat meat like a condiment if at all. Go organic. Grow some of your own. You'll live longer and be healthier and wealthier and look better.

P.S. Whole Foods imports some of its "organic" food from that industrial sewer called China. If you want great produce, go to the Good Earth Supermarket in Fairfax. 100% Organic.

----------

Country of Origin - Whole Food Market Internal Document - Do Not Distribute", go here:
http://www.acc-tv.com/images/wjla/news/iteamw...
adios

Belvedere Tiburon, CA

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#14
Apr 8, 2010
 
I went to maria maria twice. both times the glasses were dirty. I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did. it felt like a cheap cafeteria
bad timing

San Anselmo, CA

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#15
Apr 8, 2010
 
Maria Maria was riding a wave when they bought in. Now the economy has turned south and no one wants to pay ultra premium prices for mexican food. It is an oxy-moron. Mexican food is supposed to be cheap. Cheap meat, cilantro, sour cream, cheese, jalepanos, rice, beans. These are the ingredients for every mexican dish ever invented. Any mexican dish costs about $1. When was the last time you saw a burrito shop close? NEVER!!
bad timing

San Anselmo, CA

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#16
Apr 8, 2010
 
Melba wrote:
<quoted text>
San Pedro Road, although it closed over a year ago.
You wouldn't put paraffin based oil in a ferrari would you? Then why go out and eat corporate factory "food" which is all the same chemical laden processed, frozen, boxed, trucked, bar coded, microwaved, deep fried junk that is sold at
Round Table, Chilis, Denny's, Olive Garden, CoCo's, Chevy's, Burger King, McDonald's , Cheesecake Factory, Carl's Jr, Wendy's etc., often from the very same warehouse and drop shipped on shrink-wrapped pallets off the same trucks that make their rounds from mall to mall.
J.R. Simplot potatoes and coke syrup and Iowa Beef Packers "meat" consisting of ground up cattle muscle, tumors, pus, rodents etc, are the same at every fast food terminal countrywide.
The only difference is the TV commercials, the menus and the corporate branded image.
Learn where your local farmer's market is folks. Learn to cook simple nutritious food.
Eat meat like a condiment if at all. Go organic. Grow some of your own. You'll live longer and be healthier and wealthier and look better.
P.S. Whole Foods imports some of its "organic" food from that industrial sewer called China. If you want great produce, go to the Good Earth Supermarket in Fairfax. 100% Organic.
----------
Country of Origin - Whole Food Market Internal Document - Do Not Distribute", go here:
http://www.acc-tv.com/images/wjla/news/iteamw...
You are spot on about Whole Foods. there are now a ton of products that are made in China. Be sure to let the whole foods manager have an earful like I did when I found out I bought something I assumed was from the USA but was actually Organic from China. There is no such thing as "Organic" from China. 100% of the water in China is polluted, that means anything you eat from China is at the very least polluted from the water. But more likely it is polluted some other way. Read the labels. Trader Joe's is the biggest scam store in the world. All their food comes from China. All their food says "Distributed by blah, blah, blah Monrovia, CA" This is a dead give away it was made in China. I see all these health conscious people in Trader Joes and now Whole Foods who have no idea that they are eating China toxics.
Buba Smith

San Rafael, CA

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#17
Apr 9, 2010
 
The Cantina was at least reliable. You knew what you were getting and the food was decent. Tried Maria Maria twice. Really nice people that meant well, but the food was affirmatively awful. Taco Bell had better food. Incredible how really bad it was. The parent company was obviously just not very good at operating a restaurant. Hard to belive that paychecks bounced. That is a serious violation if true and the Labor commissioner will certainly be involved if that happened.
mwrg

United States

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#19
Apr 9, 2010
 
Yea, I happen to have some personal experience with the Dudum brothers, and can tell you that they are relatively slimy as to how they do business with others (not honoring contracts) and even more so how they handle employees: they have a multitude of cameras around each restaurant that are used to spy on all employees at all times. The camera feeds are delivered back to a Walnut Creek office, where they sit and watch them all day.

It's their business (for now) and their choice, but it probably doesn't endear a great deal of trust or morale inside of each establishment. That probably effects how things are run.

This isn't the only establishment of theirs taking it in the shorts right now either. They also own Joe DiMaggio's in North Beach. I have NEVER seen anyone there.

The concept of overtly celebrity restaurant (as if that makes me want to eat there) along with overtly corporate food has not been a successful one for years.

Bring back the Cantina. It was good tex-mex, the people were nice, you didn't feel like you were being ripped off, and you knew what to expect.
DSE is a BAD COMPANY

Livermore, CA

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#20
Apr 9, 2010
 
Buba Smith wrote:
The Cantina was at least reliable. You knew what you were getting and the food was decent. Tried Maria Maria twice. Really nice people that meant well, but the food was affirmatively awful. Taco Bell had better food. Incredible how really bad it was. The parent company was obviously just not very good at operating a restaurant. Hard to belive that paychecks bounced. That is a serious violation if true and the Labor commissioner will certainly be involved if that happened.
Buba, how can I get in touch with the Labor Commissioner? Do you know if he/she/they will still get involved if paychecks bounced even if employees got paid in the end? Do you know if that's who should be involved in the whole lack of breaks issue? I would love to let my friends who are former employees know what they can do about this!
DSE is a BAD COMPANY

Livermore, CA

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#21
Apr 9, 2010
 
mwrg wrote:
Yea, I happen to have some personal experience with the Dudum brothers, and can tell you that they are relatively slimy as to how they do business with others (not honoring contracts) and even more so how they handle employees: they have a multitude of cameras around each restaurant that are used to spy on all employees at all times. The camera feeds are delivered back to a Walnut Creek office, where they sit and watch them all day.
It's their business (for now) and their choice, but it probably doesn't endear a great deal of trust or morale inside of each establishment. That probably effects how things are run.
This isn't the only establishment of theirs taking it in the shorts right now either. They also own Joe DiMaggio's in North Beach. I have NEVER seen anyone there.
The concept of overtly celebrity restaurant (as if that makes me want to eat there) along with overtly corporate food has not been a successful one for years.
Bring back the Cantina. It was good tex-mex, the people were nice, you didn't feel like you were being ripped off, and you knew what to expect.
The Cantina is also owned by Dudum. I personally would prefer to keep that company out of Marin County. There has got to be a LOCAL business person/company who would want to invest in opening another restaurant in that space. It's really a great space with tons of potential. It just needs to be run by people who CARE.

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