Tales From The Hood

BY: EL MONDO DE CABO

It was an unusually hot Saturday night when I decided to treat myself to a night on the town and wandered into a packed Solomon’s Landing … that was 16 years ago. By then Solomon’s had already been open for 10 years. Little did I know that I would get to know the owner and his incredible daughter of whom I am proud to call pals. Over the years, Solomon’s was the only place that I would spend my own money. I sat in the same place, had the same waiters, and at one point, which took a long time, I can honestly say, I had eaten everything on the menu once. That’s saying a lot if you have seen their five-page menu, which has many influences including New Orleans, Mexico, Japanese style sushi, and California cuisine made by talented Mexicans under the ever-present eyes of the Solomons.

Brian Solomon came here about 26 years ago and has made his mark as one of the most successful businessmen here in a ruthless, extremely competitive arena … have you counted how many restaurants there are in Cabo … I have, and it's about 32, maybe 33 million. Brian was born into a country club lifestyle. His father was a gifted golfer, with seven holes-in-one to his record at the toney Braemar Country Club and turned that into one of the most successful real estate companies in Los Angeles.

He went to school in Encino and was pals with lots of celebrities, including all the Jackson’s as they grew up. Michael, as talented and smart as he was, was not a happy boy but he loved Brian, as a kid, and spent his free time at Brian’s house.

Brian knew what he wanted to do at an early age, skipped college and went right into cooking school, graduated, then made his way to becoming a successful chef in the toughest city other than New York to be a great chef, New Orleans. 

He also became a successful entrepreneur and had successful factories in Taiwan and China, which he sold and moved to Cabo. Not a lot of people can say they made money in China as 90 percent of those that try to get handed an empty fortune cookie. somehow, Brian managed to leave China in the pink … an incredible feat.

They say the secret to owning a good restaurant is location, location, location … and if that is true, then Solomon’s has it in spades. It is in the corner of the marina closest to the rich folks, next to the giant marlin, and Captain Tony’s, who I am told serves a mean pizza, but I have just never been able to walk in there. I want to go to Tony’s, but my feet don’t.  The first thing you will notice if you go to Brian’s restaurant is you will see the same people there year after year. Just ask him, “How is it going?” and he will fill your ears with all the cool stuff he has going on at Solomon’s.

A celebrated chronically depressed bipolar nut job, I have tried to find out what kind of medication he is on and so far, I got nothing. He is kind of like Bur Rabbit when he is in trouble with Bur Bear and Bur Fox, who was thinking about how to kill him, he would say, “Whatever you do, please don’t throw me in that briar patch!”.

Then there is Samantha, Brian’s 26-year-old daughter, who today, is the boss of Solomon’s Landing. Having arrived here when she was two and went through the education system here, she is obviously in control of all she surveys. Over the years I have met several of these kids and surprise, surprise, they are all well-rounded bilingual successful people. The first thing you notice about Samantha is that quietly and smoothly, she is a tough businesswoman who doesn’t suffer fools.

Brian now spends a lot of his time having fun, traveling and thinking about new ways to keep Solomon’s relevant, with his new lovely paramour and still gets excited when he is talking to you. I think to have a successful long-running restaurant you have to be like the little boy who was told that a huge mound of manure was his Christmas present. He then promptly and gleefully started digging into it because he was sure under all that doo doo, was a pony!

Today under the watchful eye of Samantha, Solomon’s consistently continues to be one of the best-run restaurants in Cabo … now more than ever, as they have lowered prices by a whopping 20 percent while practicing serious pandemic social distancing and specializing in delivery. That’s another thing, Solomon’s has always and consistently maintained quality. Once I got a beet arugula salad with no beets in it … Brian picked up my check. There is always great entertainment and some kind of special … if it is wine pairing at the bar where Brian turns into Bob Barker or a special dedicated to the holidays. Feeling a little lonely at Christmas, go see Brian, Easter Bunny passed you over, go see Samantha! If it is your first time, go there early on a Friday and prepare to have some great food, for a great value, from the largest gourmet menu in Cabo, and you get entertained at the same time. Now I am probably going to get into trouble for this, but if you live here, and tell them you read about Solomon’s in the Gringo Gazette, you may get a free margarita or a beer... just tell them Mondo sent you.