Two Aces Mexican restaurant opened last month. Co-owner and chef Antonio Espinoza used to run La Pasadita food truck in Ontario. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)

ONTARIO – The owner of a popular food truck in Ontario has taken his business to the next level with a brick and mortar location.

Antonio Espinoza, who operated La Pasadita food truck since 2013, opened Two Aces last month at 2880 S.W. 4th Ave. The location previously housed Machuca’s, also a Mexican restaurant.

Espinoza said the food will be as authentic as the one he served out of his food truck a half mile down from his current shop.

“The goal was always the restaurant,” Espinoza said.

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He plans to expand his menu, but he said his focus is to start out with a limited number of items. Slot machines will be added in about two months.

The restaurant opens from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. During happy hour from 7 to 8 p.m. customers who order an alcoholic drink will get a tostada with ceviche or cueritos – pickled pork – on the house.

Espinoza, a native of Michoacan, Mexico, came to Ontario 10 years ago from Nevada and worked in the onion fields. Three years later he went into the food business.

“It’s something bigger and something we’ve always had in mind,” said Espinoza’s daughter, Melissa Rodriguez, who is helping her father run the restaurant. “It’s a way for us to keep going.”

Espinoza said he got his break when business partner Joel Ruiz, who owns the trucking company J. Ruiz Enterprises LLC, bought the location for Two Aces.

“I liked his food and I told him one day we can be partners, I’ll help you,” Ruiz said.

Espinoza is renting the space from Ruiz, who is no stranger to the restaurant business. Ruiz also owns Tacos El Zarape in Ontario.

News tip? Contact reporter Yadira Lopez at yadira@malheurenterprise.com or 541-473-3377. 

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