Skip to main content

San Clemente Journal

Dreams come True at Sol Agave

Mar 28, 2022 03:39PM ● By Mary Colarik

Dreamers... Jesus Galvez, Edgar Estrada, Oscar Perez wrote their original vision on a napkin.

by Mary Colarik

Early December I had the pleasure of sitting down with the three co-founders of Sol Agave Restaurant on Avenida Del Mar. We had a pleasant and lively conversation while noshing on pastries and drinking delicious Mexican, cinnamon flavored coffee; café de la olla. A savory beverage, it could easily become my new coffee addiction. 

Jesus, “Jesse” Galvez, Oscar Perez and Edgar Estrada are three engaging men who shared a dream-a dream of owning a restaurant. It was a vision formulated over 10 years ago, written out on a napkin in 2010 while the three friends sat drinking Pepsis and sharing an order of French fries after their work shifts at Carmelita’s Restaurant in Rancho Santa Margarita. No tequila shots or margaritas in those days, they were keeping their minds clear and focused on the dream-the big prize-becoming restaurant owners!

Galvez, Estrada and Perez (the Executive Chef), all spent several years honing their skills at different restaurants in the area including, El Torito Grill, Nick’s, the Cheesecake Factory and the BeachFire Grill. In 2015 they started the Sol Agave Food Truck business and were catering out of a small kitchen based in San Juan Capistrano. A small restaurant space soon became available in the Marbella Plaza where they had been their preparing food. This original spot had room for 10 tables when they opened their first Sol Agave Restaurant. They have since expanded that first brick and mortar restaurant to a larger space in the same plaza. 

Sol Agave’s unique Margarita Flight.


When their food truck was one of the vendors at the 2015 Car Show on Del Mar, they kept their eyes open for an available space there. In June 2020 they secured the spot left vacant by One Eleven Coastal in the Del Mar Plaza. After a six-month renovation of the interior featuring fresh white walls, beamed, dark wood ceilings, large picture windows facing the sidewalk and a well lit semi-circle bar space, they opened Sol Agave Taste Mexico in San Clemente in November 2020. The restaurant space also features several tables in the courtyard area across from Billy’s Delicatessen.

In addition to these two Sol Agave restaurants, since 2015 the co-founders have opened four more including: Sol Agave Kaleidoscope Mission Viejo, Sol Agave in American Fork, Utah, Sol Agave Santa Monica, and in late December 2021 Sol Agave Los Angeles opened in the large entertainment and food venue - L.A. LIVE.

Part of their dream of owning a restaurant was to offer a taste of Mexico in an “artistic, playful, modern way, concentrating on high quality ingredients.” Their restaurants are becoming well known and appreciated for offering prime steaks, fresh sustainable seafood and organic greens on an eclectic menu. They have created delectable recipes featuring an upscale Mexican cuisine for their discerning customers. They had already amassed a loyal following from their beginnings as food truck purveyors, building great customer rapport and offering high quality ingredients locally sourced, organic and fresh.


My daughter and I first visited Sol Agave shortly after they opened in the fall of 2020-we enjoyed a yummy meal while sipping a flight of margaritas-which included watermelon basil, spicy mango, cilantro cucumber and tamarindo spicy-ole! My daughter returned frequently, including a date where she was treated with a festive butter cake dessert presented with a flaming ceramic light and a lively Happy Birthday serenade by the staff.

On my recent return with a friend, we began our meal with chips and salsa and drinks. My companion ordered the Cadillac margarita-made with El Jimador reposado tequila and agave mix, tajin rim topped with grand Marnier. I ordered, once again, the flight of margaritas, and while sharing sips with my dining partner, we especially enjoyed the watermelon and spicy mango selections. All the restaurants margaritas are house made with fresh lime juice, organic agave and top shelf tequila. 


Listening attentively to Rafael’s descriptions of his favorite appetizers and entrees, we finally decided to share shrimp taquitos. No ordinary taquitos, we were served three jumbo Mexican prawns stuffed with creamy Dungeness crab filling, wrapped in a crispy corn tortilla with optional chipotle aioli and cilantro aioli. There are several other Botanas (appetizers) offered on the menu, including Sugar Cane Filet and Pulpo Alas Brasas (Spanish gilled octopus) … all sound amazing.
We spent a bit of time discussing our entrée order but ended up following Rafael’s suggestions. I ordered the Tacos de Hongo-prime skirt steak, Portobello mushrooms, onions and cheese served on a hot skillet. The cheese is melted on the bottom of the skillet-simply delicious. This entrée is served with salsa morita, rice, refried beans and a choice of tortillas all prepared to perfection with enough left over for lunch the following day.

Although my dining partner was tempted by a few different entrees including the Mar y Tierra (filet mignon enchiladas) and Rack of Lamb he settled on Del Mar Sea Bass as it was highly recommended by Rafael. It was a great choice as each bite melted in your mouth … Kudos to Rafael’s suggestions and attentive service. 

Some local acquaintances leaving the restaurant as we were settling in at our courtyard table, highly recommended the delicious Sea Bass and the Cazuela de Pastor Al Trompo, mentioning that the el pastor, “was delightful, lean, flavorful, perfectly spiced, prepared and sliced, savory and served with warm corn tortillas rice and black beans.”


Sol Agave’s menu is very organized, itemizing Botanas, Ensaladas and Sopas, Chef Specials, Mar Y Tierra and Sol Agave Para Dos - “Tour of Sol Agave Specialties.” There is also a kid’s menu and dessert selections; including the famous butter cake.

Offering no less than 15 tequilas, five sipping tequilas, a selection of beer, wine and cocktails, plus all the mouthwatering margaritas, the beverage menu is extensive. The margarita mix is offered for sale-the owners recommend two ounces of tequila, 2 ounces of mix for an at home refreshing margarita. 

Brunch is available on Saturday and Sunday from 10am-2pm, with Happy Hour from 2-6pm daily. The restaurant does not take reservations in the traditional manner, however, the Yelp app offers a same day wait list eight hours before desired seating time; patrons are allowed a 15-minute grace period to arrive on time.

111 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente
(949) 312-2210 |