Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

To dispel the rumors

Fulano's in Leucadia not what it seems

Their son "wanted a nice sit-down place.”
Their son "wanted a nice sit-down place.”

Some Leucadia residents have been wondering for years, what’s up with the Fulano’s Restaurant. The restaurant appears never to be open. But a look through the windows shows a clean, well kept, and comfortable establishment.

Speedy Taco. “We wanted a fast-food place with a homemade taste.”

Most recently, on Facebook, numerous postings on an Encinitas page questioned the operation of the 30-seat restaurant at 114 Leucadia Boulevard. Critics say it has to be a front for money laundering, a tax dodge.

Sponsored
Sponsored

“I’ve just never seen a business stay in business so long not doing any business,” posted Dan Prinling. “Cartel hours,” added Chris Kelly-Cochran.

With the recent negative posts, the matriarch of the restaurant, 79-year-old Elizabeth “Betty” Portilla, reached out to me. “I’m getting older and want to lay these things to rest,” she said.

When she and her husband first bought the property in the early 70s, they gave a 10-year lease to the El Rancho Taco Shop. “Yes,” said Portilla, “We heard that unscrupulous things were going on there.” When the lease came up, the Portillas decide not to renew. “They left it in shambles,” said Portilla of the leaseholders.

The Portilla family then operated their own restaurant at the site, Speedy Taco. “We wanted a fast-food place with a homemade taste,” said Portilla.

Portilla, upon retirement, gave the restaurant to her son John. He eventually converted it to Fulano’s, a “gourmet Mexican” restaurant. “He wanted a nice sit-down place,” said Portilla. The restaurant carries a coveted Type 47 ABC license, allowing them to have full alcohol service, not just beer and wine.

Can the rumors from 35 years ago last that long? Of the Facebook posts, “The older residents were very positive in their comments. The newer people were negative,” said Portilla.

Portilla admits part of the problem may be that the restaurant isn’t open until the evening hours, 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. There are no posted hours, other than a “Closed on Monday” sign, and a sign that reads, “CASH ONLY.” She said lot of negativity and speculation occurred when they had to limit their hours when the 2008 recession hit. The restaurant keeps it simple with only two long-time employees.

Portilla laughs at the rumors and speculation. The Portillas have a long history in the community. Betty graduated from the local high school. Her husband was closely related to Tony, of Solana Beach’s Tony’s Jacal restaurant. “What some don’t know is our family is also law enforcement,” she said. He other son, James, is a CHP commander in Sacramento.

“I’ve had a successful life. I really haven’t paid any attention [to the rumors]. But, as I get older, it's started to bother me,” said Portilla. Toward the end of string of Facebook postings, she posted a thank you to everyone for their comments, positive or negative, and wished them peace.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Narco wars spill more blood in Tijuana

But no slow down in foreign investment
Next Article

Mustard turns hillsides yellow, Star Jasmine’s sweet perfume

Pleiades cluster hovers right below the waxing crescent moon
Their son "wanted a nice sit-down place.”
Their son "wanted a nice sit-down place.”

Some Leucadia residents have been wondering for years, what’s up with the Fulano’s Restaurant. The restaurant appears never to be open. But a look through the windows shows a clean, well kept, and comfortable establishment.

Speedy Taco. “We wanted a fast-food place with a homemade taste.”

Most recently, on Facebook, numerous postings on an Encinitas page questioned the operation of the 30-seat restaurant at 114 Leucadia Boulevard. Critics say it has to be a front for money laundering, a tax dodge.

Sponsored
Sponsored

“I’ve just never seen a business stay in business so long not doing any business,” posted Dan Prinling. “Cartel hours,” added Chris Kelly-Cochran.

With the recent negative posts, the matriarch of the restaurant, 79-year-old Elizabeth “Betty” Portilla, reached out to me. “I’m getting older and want to lay these things to rest,” she said.

When she and her husband first bought the property in the early 70s, they gave a 10-year lease to the El Rancho Taco Shop. “Yes,” said Portilla, “We heard that unscrupulous things were going on there.” When the lease came up, the Portillas decide not to renew. “They left it in shambles,” said Portilla of the leaseholders.

The Portilla family then operated their own restaurant at the site, Speedy Taco. “We wanted a fast-food place with a homemade taste,” said Portilla.

Portilla, upon retirement, gave the restaurant to her son John. He eventually converted it to Fulano’s, a “gourmet Mexican” restaurant. “He wanted a nice sit-down place,” said Portilla. The restaurant carries a coveted Type 47 ABC license, allowing them to have full alcohol service, not just beer and wine.

Can the rumors from 35 years ago last that long? Of the Facebook posts, “The older residents were very positive in their comments. The newer people were negative,” said Portilla.

Portilla admits part of the problem may be that the restaurant isn’t open until the evening hours, 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. There are no posted hours, other than a “Closed on Monday” sign, and a sign that reads, “CASH ONLY.” She said lot of negativity and speculation occurred when they had to limit their hours when the 2008 recession hit. The restaurant keeps it simple with only two long-time employees.

Portilla laughs at the rumors and speculation. The Portillas have a long history in the community. Betty graduated from the local high school. Her husband was closely related to Tony, of Solana Beach’s Tony’s Jacal restaurant. “What some don’t know is our family is also law enforcement,” she said. He other son, James, is a CHP commander in Sacramento.

“I’ve had a successful life. I really haven’t paid any attention [to the rumors]. But, as I get older, it's started to bother me,” said Portilla. Toward the end of string of Facebook postings, she posted a thank you to everyone for their comments, positive or negative, and wished them peace.

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Tim Flannery, Pete “Pops” Escovedo, Roger Clyne, Orion Song, Jeff Berkley

Jazz, country, R&B, rock, and acoustic evenings in La Jolla, Little Italy, Ramona, and Solana Beach
Next Article

Mother, daughter try Goat Canyon trestles

What would we do if bit by rattlesnake?
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.