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The subtle, complex flavors playing at the original Walnut Creek Maria Maria (opened in 2007) have become somewhat muted at this fifth incarnation. But the candled bar, melodramatic dining room, and fire-lit patio still exude the kind of confident groove that made Carlos Santana—the restaurant’s inspiration and partner—famous. More family friendly than the original, Danville’s Maria Maria offers up creamy duck tacos and a trio of salsas that, well, rock. Carnitas and chicken enchiladas suizas remain favorites, but you’ll have fun exploring other tunes, such as the haunting blackberry mole that graces the menu’s tender short ribs. Lunch and dinner daily; brunch Sunday. Also in Walnut Creek.
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