Born in Mexico and raised in Santa Ana, California, Sal Alamilla became enthralled with his mother’s cooking from a young age. He would watch her in the kitchen as she hand-pressed tortillas and chopped vegetables grown by her father .
Those memories followed him throughout his life. When his family moved to Idaho, he started out as a dishwasher in a restaurant and within three years became the kitchen’s head chef. Since then, he’s managed the kitchen for Whole Foods and Eureka! in Boise. Now, he’s venturing out to Caldwell to start his own restaurant.
On Friday, Sal Alamilla and his wife, Becca, opened Amano Restaurante, a Mexican restaurant featuring Mexican dishes and cocktails.
The restaurant, at 702 Main St., is the latest addition to Caldwell’s Indian Creek Plaza, a 57,000-square foot downtown plaza built a year ago that features a variety of nearby restaurants and shops. The Flying M last year opened a third Treasure Valley coffee shop across from the plaza, and Boise’s Rediscovered Books also has plans to open a second bookstore there.
“We’re excited to be joining the community in Caldwell and at Indian Creek Plaza,” Becca Alamill said in a news release. “I’m from Idaho, and it’s so nice to be back in a community where I went to school. We can’t wait to be a part of the energy and excitement of the business community here.”
Amano’s menu includes hand-pressed corn tortillas, 20 varieties of Mezcal and a selection of wines from the Sunnyslope wine region.
The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. It will also serve brunch on the weekends from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Alamillas funded the restaurant with a loan from MoFi, previously called Montana & Idaho Community Development Corp., a nonbank lender that has provided nearly $600 million in financing to over 1,000 borrowers.
“We’re thrilled to play a small part in Becca and Sal’s journey by helping them open their restaurant in Caldwell,” said MoFi President Dave Glaser in the release. “Their vision for the restaurant and their investment in the local community is inspiring. We can’t wait to see what’s next for them.”