Wahoo’s and Five Four launch co-branded taco menu


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Nobody can deny that Los Angeles based Five Four Clothing -- with new stores sprouting like well-fertilized mushrooms, soon-to-launch accessories and footwear collections, and a book about to drop -- is on a roll these days.

But on a recent Thursday night it was all about the taco.

The Five Four team -- including co-CEOs Dee Murthy and Andres Izquieta, their celebrity friends (including professional football player Clay Matthews, linebacker for the Super Bowl XLV champion Green Bay Packers), employees and an impossible number of slender lady friends -- decamped to the Wahoo’s Fish Tacos restaurant at Wilshire and Crescent Heights boulevards on the last day of March to celebrate the launch of a taco menu collaboration.


Starting April 1 at the 6258 Wilshire Blvd. location, the menu collaboration features three different tacos priced at $2.69 each: a carnitas taco, a fish taco and a vegetarian taco (made with tofu), served either in tortillas or, for the ‘Stay Skinny’ version, in a lettuce leaf -- although, frankly, at 120 to 159 calories apiece, it already sounds pretty skinny to me. The plan is to roll out the menu to other Wahoo’s locations throughout 2011. Popping in to the party on my way home from a brawl of a Lakers game (which, it turns out, spawned a fashion moment of its own), I managed to eat my way through the menu (purely in the interest of journalistic integrity, of course). I found the carnitas version, whose pork flavor is complemented with a bite of Wahoo’s wickedly hot and slightly sweet Mr. Lee’s chili sauce, to be my favorite one.

Palate-pleasing aside, what business does the men’s label have co-branding tacos? When I found Izquieta, who is also the label’s creative director, at the party, I asked him just that -- and he gave me the skinny.

‘I’ve lost about 80 pounds,’ he said, ‘and I’ve always loved tacos, so that was part of it, and I’ve known [Wahoo’s co-founder Wing Lam] for a couple of years, so it just kind of made sense to work on something together.’

Izquieta added that another factor was the upcoming fall launch of Five Four’s women’s collection, which he described as having a slightly skinnier silhouette than the menswear line.

‘It’s going to be like T by Alexander Wang meets Sass & Bide meets Rag & Bone,’ he said. ‘And we thought this would be a good way to get the marketing started and get the word out.’

The Five Four X Wahoo’s ‘Stay Skinny’ taco collaboration will almost certainly accomplish that -- and solve another conundrum at the same time -- what to have with that Skinnygirl Margarita.


-- Adam Tschorn

(bottom) The logo for the Five Four X Wahoo’s collaboration. Credit: Five Four Clothing