Good things come to those who wait, the old saying goes.
In the case of longtime Mill Valley resident Ki Yong Choi, the wait throughout the course of a global pandemic was been interminable at times, but it sure does feel good to be the one to re-open one of Mill Valley’s iconic restaurants, set in the historic El Paseo space at 17 Throckmorton Avenue, and help it thrive once again, he says.
Following legendary Mill Valley musician Sammy “the Red Rocker” Hagar’s decision to close El Paseo to tend to his myriad business, media and musical interests, Choi’s group took over in 2019. They were very much on track to open Paseo: A California Bistro, featuring “locally sourced, naturally harvested New American cuisine.” Then a relentless public health crisis arrived.
Like so many restaurants over the course of the past two-plus years, the group persevered, innovated and renovated to create right-sized spaces for our modern times. “We’re proud and humbled by the outpouring of community support,” says Choi, formerly an El Paseo customer. They opened in late 2021, navigated the staffing shortage that just about every restaurant in the U.S. has felt, and continue to build toward renaissance for an iconic name in Bay Area foodie circles.
The team hired Chef Brandon Breazeale, the longtime chef de cuisine at 31st Union in San Mateo and formerly of the Bodega Bay Lodge, to lead the kitchen staff. They made some small cosmetic changes to the space, retaining the vast majority of the historic exposed brick space that stretches between Throckmorton and Sunnyside avenues and dates back to the original El Paseo opening in 1947.
Dinner is served 5-9 pm Tuesday through Sunday. 415.888.3907. 17 Throckmorton Ave.