Restaurant adopts new theme to appeal to Hispanic neighbors

Two angel statues up front are all that’s left of this building’s heyday as the Venetian Italian Restaurant at 3713 W. Sahara Ave. Established downtown in 1955 and moved here 10 years later, it was a favorite haunt of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and other Rat Pack notables not known for their angelic behavior.

Former Tillerman and DiMartino’s owner Mark DiMartino opened the Slanted Clam here in 2005. But when the smoking ban severely cut into business, he decided to cater to the restaurant’s largely Hispanic surroundings with Caminos de Morelia.

During a two-month remodel earlier this year, he swapped out the seafood for Mexican and the beach theme for the rustic authenticity of a Sam Peckinpah film. (Morelia is the capital of Michoacan.)

Miguel Magana, head chef at the Tillerman until last year, presides over equally traditional Mexican dishes including ceviche, tacos, and steak and chicken specialties.

The kitchen is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and on weekends the guests — as many as 160 — can enjoy live salsa music with their chips until 2 a.m. No reservations are necessary.

Signature dish: Camarones a la diabla, $15.99

Starters: Ceviche de pescado, $10.99; guacamole, $6.99; queso fundido, $1.50

Soups and salads: Sopa de fideo; $1.99; esalada de casa, $2.00; taco salad, $9.99

Entrees: Pillo chipotle, $12.99; carne de puerco con chili verde, $12.99; carne asada, $14.99

Desserts: Tres leches Mexican flan, $4.99; fried ice cream, $4.99

Information: 478-9000.

By COREY LEVITAN

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