Zolina Zerevica was hired as a hostess at Tortilla Flats 27 years ago. She’s now the owner and manager—Zolina purchased the Soquel restaurant with her mom and stepdad nearly two years ago. She says locals love the place for the same reasons she does; family vibes and the culinary fusion of influences—the recipes come from the original owner. Favorites include the Rio Grande carne asada, Baja fish taco and the enchiladas. But Zolina says the sauces set them apart—there are as many as eight choices, ranging from red pepper to green to mole to yellow aji chili. The chocolate peanut butter pie is the crown jewel of the dessert menu. Customers also rave about the margaritas. Open every day, 11:30am-9pm (Fridays and Saturdays till 9:30pm)—closed Mondays. GT asked Zolina more about the menu and her path to ownership.
How would you describe the blend of cuisines?
ZOLINA ZEREVICA: All the recipes are from the original owner, and she studied in Mexico, New Mexico and the French Quarter. Some of these recipes include enchilada sauces like our Santa Fe red and green that come from her time down there using Hatch chilis. The Durango sauce exemplifies her French Quarter influence because it’s a light buttery cream sauce traditional to that style of cuisine. You won’t get these tastes or flavors anywhere else; they are unique to us.
How did you become the owner?
The original owner and I had discussed the possibility for years. When she passed away, her partner took over, and he and I started negotiating my taking over. Then he died suddenly, and we purchased it from his daughter.
Going from server to owner was a complete change in role and responsibility, but Tortilla Flats is my happy place.
Tortilla Flats, 4616 Soquel Drive, Soquel, 831-476-1754; tortillaflatsdining.biz
Actually, Tortilla Flats’ original owners were Jilda Loomis and Bob Hofmann. So happy that Cheryl was so successful and hope that the success continues with Zolina.
Tortilla Flats has been a part of our wonderful lives since our courting days forty years ago! The amazing authentic plates of great food and drink have had us and ours coming back for good times and great food for feast even through floods and pandemics. Who would have thought “Original Margaritas To Go” 🙂