I'm sure the owners of Gaviota, the Peruvian restaurant that opened late last year in the former Nick's Italian Cafe in Thornton Park, have a good reason for opening a second location so soon -- and so close by.
The new -- or newer -- Gaviota is on Colonial Drive, just over three miles away. But perhaps even curiouser than the proximity are the differences between the two restaurants.
The Thornton Park Gaviota is in the sleek Sanctuary condominiums building. It offers white tablecloth dining inside and a patio overlooking Eola Drive.
The Colonial Drive Gaviota occupies a free-standing building that was once a fast food outlet -- the drive-up window lane is still there but not functioning. (This was the brief home of Casa Barcelona and before that California Burrito Express.) The dining room is more casual and tablecloth free. (It would be casual even without the step ladder that was standing next to the bar during most of my meal.) There is a patio here, too, but it comes with the whooshing of cars speeding along U.S. Highway 50. But the parking is easier!