We sat down with partner and head chef Noe Zamora in the midst of twelve inches of snowfall to discuss his love of food and community.  

Noe is originally from Vera Cruz, Mexico and his passion for culture and flavor is immediately noted and deeply rooted.  Although he has been with Bel Air for over six years, he brings a new enthusiasm to his craft every day.

“We’re not about just operating a place to eat.  We want our customers to have a fantastic experience.”

Noe says he was born with a love of food and sees it as a “combination of culture and flavor.”  “When I was growing up, meals were community experiences,” said Noe.  “We would help each other out as neighbors do and payback came in the form of multi-family meals and celebrations.  Everybody participated.”

With 17 years experience, Noe worked his way up the ranks with The Cheesecake Factory, eventually opening restaurants all over the country.  Then he managed kitchens with the Lowlands Group before being offered an ownership stake with Bel Air Cantina, where he has helped open all four locations.

Noe understands that to be successful in a tough business that they need to have a great variety of offerings and they have to be different and better.  He points out that their beans and sauces are made fresh everyday the “right” way.  Zamora notes that the process takes longer, but that is the only to do it right.

Depending on his mood, some of his favorites on the menu are the mango tilapia or broccoli and artichoke tacos, the mini tuna tostadas, the Korean beef and, of course, their delicious black beans.

In light of the fantastic atmosphere created in each Bel Air location and the acclaimed variety on the menu, Noe Zamora inspires the culture and community that makes visiting their restaurants a true experience.


To make the Salsa, we need first to make the arbol oil:

10 Arbol chili pieces
4 Garlic cloves
1 cup of vegetable oil Using a sauté pan, cook the garlic over medium high heat until golden brown color, add the arbol chili and remove from the stove. Let cool for 20 min, and blend all together.

5 oven roasted roma tomatoes
(roasted a day before if posible and have it at cooler temperature) 3 ounces of vegetable oil
1 cup of arbol oil
Kosher salt to taste Blend tomatoes and add slowly the vegetable oil, and arbol oil, add the salt to taste.


To make these black beans we don’t use any lard or animal fat, our secret ingredient is our fried garlic and onions:


4 cups of vegetable oil
½ cup of garlic cloves
4 cups of yellow diced onions
Bake in a open sauté pan all this ingredients
at 350 degrees for 90 min.

1 pound of dried black beans pre washed
2 gallons of water
1 bunch of cilantro
½ cup of kosher salt (add more to taste)

Let cook at low high heat over the stove for at least 3 hours. When the black beans are fully cooked they should all be broken, at that moment add the fried garlic and onions, let cook for 20 more min. Enjoy.


2 oz of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
2 tilapia fillets

1 large ripe mango, peeled and diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoonof fresh minced parsley
1 tablespoon of fresh finely chopped rosemary
4 tablespoons of fresh chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of kosher salt
1 tablespoon of minced fresh garlic
½ cup of olive oil

Directions for Marinating & Cooking Tilapia Fillets
Whisk together oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Add the tilapia fillets, coat with the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Prepare the mango salsa by combining the mango, red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeño pepper in a bowl. Add the lime juice and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil grate. Remove the tilapia from the marinade, and shake off excess. Discard the remaining marinade. Grill the fillets until the fish is no longer translucent in the center, and flakes easily with a fork, 3 to 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fillets.

Directions for Chimichurri Sauce
To make the chimichurri just mix all the ingredients and using a muddler or a big spoon smashed all herb to release all the flavor in oil, let rest for 30 min. Assembling Tilapia Taco
Choose corn or flour tortilla, I recommend corn and warm it over a sauté pan, add the fish, cover the fish with the mango salsa and drizzle the chimichurri sauce.


1 ½ ounce Illegal Joven
2 ounces Pineapple Puree
1 ounce lime
½ ounce Triple Sec
½ ounce simple Serve in pint glass Garnish with pineapple chunk


1 ½ ounce Corazon Anejo
1 ounce lime juice
½ ounce simple
½ ounce Cointreau
Shake vigorously
Salt rim and serve in same pint, topping with ice as needed
Garnish with a lime


6 ounces Sangria mix
Top with Press (half sprite half soda water)
Serve in wine glass
Garnish with strawberry and peach slice


1 ½ ounce Sauza Silver
1 ounce lime juice
½ ounce simple
½ ounce Triple Sec
Shake vigorously
Salt rim and serve in same pint, topping with ice as needed
Garnish with a lime