Former Pasta Paradiso Is Now The Hidden Paradise Restaurant

IMG_3415.jpgSergio Escarcega and his wife Maria Mendoza are the owners of The Hidden Paradise Restaurant formerly called Pasta Paradiso. Photo by Maire O’Neill/


Sergio Escarcega and his wife, Maria Mendoza are the new owners of what used to be Pasta Paradiso and is now called The Hidden Paradise Restaurant.

Many people know Escarcega from his time as a chef at the Blue Window Restaurant where he began working at the age of 15. He then moved to Denver, Colo. to work before coming back to Los Alamos as the chef at Pasta Paradiso.

Although Escarcega’s specialty is Southern Sicilian food and he knows Italian food inside out, he has broadened the menu at The Hidden Paradise Restaurant to include a little bit of everything.

“I spoke to some of my regular patrons to find out what they would like to see new on the menu and what they would like to keep from the old menu. Most of them were adamant about keeping some of the old specialties such as the prime rib and the salmon dishes,” he said.

The restaurant is always busy at lunch time because of the popular all you can eat buffet which costs $15 per person and the all you can eat soup and salad for $8.50, although Escarcega said people often change their minds and go got the full buffet when they see what entrees are available.

“People love our eggplant parmesan. I am amazed at how much of it I have to make,” Escarcega said. He noted that his signature dish on the menu, Napoleon Paradiso, which has eggplant, Portabello mushrooms and fresh mozzarella cheese baked in a stack and served with risotto, remains a favorite with longtime customers.

Escarcega said he prepares all the food from scratch from fresh ingredients and that all the desserts are made on site.

The lunch menu now includes salmon salad, skirt steak salad, steak sandwiches, chicken pasta, hamburgers, chicken fried steak, chicken wings and more.

Appetizers include golden fried calamari, stuffed portabella mushrooms, New Zealand green mussels, fried ravioli, shrimp cocktail and chicken wings. There are several salmon dishes and half a dozen seafood plates, as well as prime rib and other beef dishes and a handful of chicken choices.

Needless to say there’s pasta with pesto, alfredo, marinara and more. Gluten free pasta dishes and soups are available on request.

The Hidden Paradise has catered several parties recently for groups of up to 50 people.

The restaurant is located at 1315 Trinity Drive. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. through 8 p.m.; Fridays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. through 8:30 p.m.; Saturdays 5-8:30 p.m. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

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