Maria Maria (Restaurant, not Song)

Carlos has branched out again — this time into the culinary arena. Recently, he launched a “themed” restaurant, called Maria Maria — named after the song from his Supernatural album, of course.

However, if you’re expecting rock star memorabilia, ala Hard Rock Café, you’ll be surprised. The restaurant chain (there are four, so far), is not dominated by Santana, his music, and his equipment; rather, it carries the influence of his aura.

A collaboration between Carlos, accomplished chef Roberto Santibanez, and restaurant producers Dudum Sports and Entertainment, Maria Maria is an upscale restaurant with a blend of traditional Mexican cooking and innovative touches. The décor is luxurious and comfortable at the same time. And the artwork (by some renowned Latin artists) is provocative.

If you have a chance to eat at Maria Maria, give it a shot. Santana aficionado or no, it’s worth the trip!