Chronic Tacos to light up West L.A. -- in a gas station


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For the better part of this decade, Orange County residents have been able to eat a “fatty taco” or two at one of many Chronic Taco locations (the first outpost opened in Newport Beach seven years ago).

Starting next month, Westside lovers of quality fast food won’t have to make the drive south to ‘cop some Chronic.’


A joint venture (no pun intended) between Chronic Tacos and the folks behind the famed West Coast Customs car remodeling shop (the auto-customization business known worldwide thanks to the “Pimp My Ride” and ‘Street Customs’ reality TV series) will debut in West L.A. by March.

So where will L.A.’s first lunchtime-accessible Chronic reside? In a gas station.

No kidding.

A Chevron station (at 11261 Santa Monica Blvd.) will sell Chronic tacos on site, no doubt pleasing L.A. residents who appreciate the chain with cult-like reverence. We were told they will have seats inside, but a nice lady who answered the phone there Wednesday said it would be more of a ‘takeout situation.’

But fear not: More franchises are on the way, according to Bryan Harrington, who works with the fledging chain.

A lot more.

“Our plan is to open 200 stores over the next five years,” said Harrington via phone Wednesday from Costa Mesa.

Although that may sound ambitious in a lackluster economy, consider the fact that fast-food outlets such as McDonald’s recently saw a fourth-quarter increase in same-store sales worldwide, thanks in no small part to customers seeking more value for their dining dollar. (Sure, net income is down for McD’s, but in this economy, they seem to be faring better than pricier competitors.)


“The concept is perfect,” Harrington boasts of the low-cost chain of shops, which currently boasts 22 locations, 20 of which are in California.

Chronic Tacos held a grand reopening of their Saugus outpost last month, and the chain is ‘getting [franchise] requests from all over the country,” Harrington said.

So when can L.A. see a proper Chronic Taco restaurant that’s not inside a gas station open up? No word just yet, but there’s always Long Beach.

We think the chain needs to get Snoop Dogg or Dr. Dre on board for an advertising campaign -- that should really start some sales.

Chronic Tacos at Chevron, 11261 Santa Monica Blvd., (310) 477-0838.

Updated, 4:45 p.m. As a Daily Dish reader correctly pointed out, 11261 Santa Monica Blvd. is in West L.A. and is not located near the city of Santa Monica. We have updated the post to reflect the change.

Updated, 4:59 p.m., Tues. A previous version of this post contained details about the ownership of Chronic Tacos that have been removed due to factual errors. The owners of Chronic Tacos remain Daniel A. Biello and Randall L. Wyner. Bryan Harrington works with Chronic Tacos in a franchising capacity, but is not the director of franchising for the chain as was previously reported. Additionally Tuesday morning, the number of restaurants was changed to 22 instead of 24, as the previous blog post stated.


-- Charlie Amter