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Party Size
For 2
7:00 PM
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Booked 4 times today

Caliente - Kings Beach

204 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Good for Groups
Located in historic Kings Beach and just minutes from the waterfront, Caliente takes its name from its diverse family neighborhood surroundings. Caliente specializes in the flavor of the American Southwest and beyond. Think Santa Fe, or as we like to say, “Southwest, South”. Caliente, opened on August 3rd, 2007 after an extensive remodel, is one very important step in the revitalization of the Kings Beach neighborhood. Today, Caliente stands on North Lake Boulevard as the stunning example of the Kings Beach remodel in progress. We take great pride in our creation and our clean, casual and friendly atmosphere awaits your visit. Caliente offers an unequaled and unique variety of quality fun, food and beverage at affordable prices. Dining out is more than just a meal, it is an event based on value and a wonderful experience. Combine our meals with generous premium Margaritas and our famous signature drink, The ChupaCabra, and we have created a dining experience to remember.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Southwest, Mexican / Southwestern, Latin American
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Hours of operation
Bar (Year Round)
(Sun - Thurs) 5:00 pm - 11:30pm
(Fri & Sat) 5:00 pm - 1:00 am

Dinner (Year Round)
(Sun - Thurs) 5:00 pm - 9:30 pm
(Fri & Sat) 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Lunch (May - September)
(Sat & Sun) 11:30am - 5:00pm
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Phone number
(530) 546-1000
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Peter Brinckerhoff Chef - Thomas Nuti
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Cross street
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Parking details
There is plenty of on-site private parking, public parking, and street parking.
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Public transit
All local public transit drops off and picks up in front of Caliente Southwest South.
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Special events & promotions
Best Happy Hour in Kings Beach! (Oct.-Apr.): Monday - Friday, 4:00pm - 6:30pm.

Tequila Tasting Thursdays- the first Thursday of every month at 5:00pm. Complimentary tasting and seminar.

ChupaCabra Thursday, nearly 50% off ChupaCabras every Thursday all summer! (May-Sept.)
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 204 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3  based on recent ratings
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
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MikeKathyW (Tahoe)
5.0  Dined on January 13, 2018

Always our favorite place to go when we are craving the best Chimichanga and Chile Releno around. Great Margaritas always accompany!

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on January 12, 2018

Excellent service, food and value with moderate noise level . Best Mexican food on the North Shore if Lake Tahoe.

vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on January 2, 2018

Good food, good heat, surprisingly large portions, but seriously overpriced end by Tahoe standards.

OpenTable Diner (New Orleans)
3.0  Dined on December 31, 2017

We were there for New Year's Eve and were disappointed in the level of service at the restaurant. We often eat at this spot when visiting Tahoe and have always been happy with both food and service. However, this evening, the restaurant wasn't full yet the staff seemed challenged. It took about 10 minutes for the busboy to fill water glasses and another 5 minutes for the manager to take our drink & appetizer order--written on the palm of his hand. Another space of time before the official waitress came over and realized we had no drinks with our apps. Food was good but definitely didn't compare to prior meals...I always get the mole enchiladas and they just weren't as tasty as in past visits. Not sure if they were understaffed or just inexperienced but it was definitely less than my prior visits.

namsmom (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on October 22, 2017

Three of us went for dinner, The youngest of us is 66 years old, so you might wonder why the very friendly server (a young man) called us “girls” throughout our entire meal! Some may think this is cute, I thought it was a bit offensive. We said nothing because he probably thought it was a compliment and he would’t have ”gotten it.”
Caliente has a nice enough atmosphere. It wasn’t loud and we were able to converse, which was refreshing in today’s restaurants.
One of us had a deep fried chile relleno, one had a trio of something and the third had fish tacos. The relleno was good. The tacos were so sweet that the individual had trouble even partially eating them.
Our pitcher of margaritas was pretty sweet and pretty watery. I would order either a higher end margarita or ask for a name tequila on the side or even some other drink, if there is a next time.

Tec2751 (Atlanta)
3.0  Dined on October 20, 2017

Waiter was inattentive. Food was overpriced. Good location. Nice facility.

vipBGreen (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on September 9, 2017

Had steak fajitas which was mainly peppers and onions and VERY little steak


vipJulCal (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on September 2, 2017

We are regulars at Caliente and love the food and ambience and while our server was great this was the second time we had an extremely rude hostess. We had out-of-town guests with us who were also taken aback but the hostess's attitude and rude and condescending mannerism. Therefore, only three stars for service, our server deserved five but the hostess earned zero. It is a shame when this is your first impression of an otherwise great restaurant.

OpenTable Diner (Central Coast)
3.0  Dined on August 29, 2017

Music was way too loud; very difficult to carry on a conversation. My shortrib tacquito were as hard as a rock; must have been sitting in the kitchen for a couple of days; obviously not made fresh. We will not return!

vipLambshark (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined on August 27, 2017

Ok at best. Extra charge for chips and salsa, really? Good drinks but very pricey. Ceviche was tasteless and consisted of a whole avocado cut in half with a couple of tablespoons of the ceviche. Wife's chile relleno was not to her liking either. Not recommended.

vipFood4Thought (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on August 19, 2017

Food took an hour to arrive. Also, despite us making our reservation well ahead in advance, they tried to stick us in a table outside in the rain for a party of 7, even though other covered tables were available. The hostesses were rude. We won't go back.

vipShawn (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on August 18, 2017

Very delicious food. Great fish tacos. Excellent drinks. Great service.

Yybear (Central Coast)
2.0  Dined on August 13, 2017

I thought it was going to be better than it was:( we did get a nice seat overlooking the street...when we sat down, our waitress was nice, came back to take our order and we didn't have utensils or napkins.. asked to have candle on table lit( my daughters birthday), she never did..brought waters and a pitcher of margaritas.. we poured our own and she finally came back with utensils... my daughters meal and my grandsons came out a full 10 minutes (maybe 15) before the rest of us ( 4 more).. we finally told her to eat so it wouldn't be cold. When our dinners finally arrived they were just ok... didn't enjoy the meal, service dwindled as the meal went on.. they did acknowledge the birthday and sang and brought dessert.. the food was just not great:(

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on August 4, 2017

If you are not into real spicy food, stay away! Otherwise, the drinks are refreshing. Also, we didn't ask for chips and salsa but they put them on the table and didn't tell us we would be charged for them $4.00.

NvMoonie (Tahoe)
1.0  Dined on July 29, 2017

My wife and I had a reservation for 6:15 pm Saturday evening and we were between 5-10 minutes late due to traffic. My wife checked in and was seated within a minute or two of her walking in while I parked our vehicle. Once I walked in and sat down it took 10 minutes for staff to come over and acknowledge us and pour water. We told the server that we were ready to order, he took our drink, guac and meal order at the same time. Ten minutes later he came back and told my wife that they did not have any more Pina Colada mix and asked her if she wanted anything else which she told him she did not and would stick with water. He left and returned about 5 minutes later with my drink and our guac or with some chips. (We never did get offered any chips and salsa like other tables upon them getting seated.) Our food order showed up 30 minutes after we placed it with the server, they appeared average on the busy scale due to there being 5 empty tables in our area that I counted while we waited. The food was ok, but the lack of attention by the server or any staff even to fill my wife's water glass was horrible as I had to stop the server and ask that it be refilled. After being there for over an hour we were done and when the server came by I asked for a to go container and the bill at once figuring it was going to be a wait to get it. My wife got up to use the restroom and I waited for the box and bill. She returned and I still did not have either until the server looked at me and realized he had yet to take care of either. When he brought both over I took them and looked at the bill just to verify accuracy. Good thing I did as the bill included $11 for a Pina Colada we did not get. The server returned and I pointed out the error giving him back the bill for correction before providing my credit card to pay. The corrected bill was brought back, we paid it and left without leaving a tip. I have never not tipped a server or written a review like this..