Chef Wes Avila has a simple New Year’s resolution: open a Guerrilla Tacos restaurant in 2016. While he hasn’t met that goal yet — the year is still young — Avila has taken a big step toward expanding the reach of his food, by adding a day of service to his schedule and by running his taco truck to different parts of Los Angeles.
Arts District residents previously had a near-monopoly on Guerrilla Tacos’ farmers-market-fueled dishes, with the truck bouncing between third-wave coffee shops Blacktop and Blue Bottle four days a week, and making appearances at Cognoscenti Coffee in Culver City on Wednesdays and at Silverlake Wine on Thursday evenings in Silver Lake.
The revamped schedule keeps the weekdays intact, but also has Avila and his staff slinging tacos on Mondays in the Arts District, and in Beverly Grove and Venice on Saturdays and Sundays, respectively.
Said Avila, “We’re just excited to be able share our food with people, and make it a little more accessible. You don’t have to come all the way to the Eastside to taste what we do.”
One month in, Avila is feeling good about branching out westward. “Beverly has been ridiculous,” Avila said, regarding how busy their Mid-City days have gone. Venice has been slower to build up. “You’re already flooded with really great restaurants [along Abbot Kinney]. People have been very welcoming, but it’s definitely not as crazy as Beverly.”
(On the flip side, Arts District customers are lamenting the loss of their weekend waffles — yes, Avila and crew make a mean brunch too.)
Not coincidentally, each new stop is anchored by a Blue Bottle Coffee. “They’ve always had a really strong following with us. They don’t offer food, so we cover the food. We don’t offer coffee, and they cover the coffee,” Avila said of the symbiotic relationship. “Tacos and coffee go as good as tacos and wine, or tacos and beer.”
Speaking of wine, one scheduled stop still flies under the radars of even longtime customers. Perhaps it’s because it’s evening service, and people don’t think of Guerrilla Tacos that late in the day. But they should. Every Thursday night, Silverlake Wine features a flight of wine with a particular theme or from one winemaker. The shop sends the list to Avila, and “we’ll try to pair up certain wines with certain tacos. It’s a lot of fun.”
Back to that new year's resolution. “It’s happening this year, for sure. I can’t say where yet, but the flagship — the first one — will be on the Eastside.” In the meantime, Avila has other projects going, including the Guerrilla Tacos cookbook, due out in 2017.