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Colonia Taco Lounge closes in La Puente, moving to Whittier

The Sonora taco, made with grilled steak and a stalk of green onion, at Colonia Taco Lounge — soon in Whittier.

The Sonora taco, made with grilled steak and a stalk of green onion, at Colonia Taco Lounge — soon in Whittier.

(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
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I must know a lot of folks who frequent Colonia Taco Lounge, because I have gotten probably a dozen phone calls and text messages from people upset that it suddenly closed. Whether they drove across town to get to the La Puente taqueria or rode a half-mile on their bikes, they felt a sharp sense of loss.

There is no shortage of tacos in the neighborhood, of course, including the Baja-style fish tacos at Taco Nazo just next door, but Ricardo Diaz’s tacos at Colonia were special: horchata-battered shrimp tacos, duck confit tacos, potato tacos, and especially the fried cauliflower tacos, which ranked as one of the best bites of Mexican food in town.

I ran into Diaz this weekend at Colonia Publica, his fideo restaurant in Uptown Whittier, and he confirmed the rumor: Colonia Taco Lounge had indeed closed. The location was problematic, he said, not ideal for the late-night crowds he draws at his Bizarra Capital and Tacoteca, and it was never quite filled during the day. He was sad to see it go — it was the site of one of his late father’s 7 Mares seafood restaurants — but it was time.

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But the good news is that a new Colonia Publica will be opening in November at 11114 Whittier Blvd. — not terribly far from either of his other two Whittier restaurants or the Whittier Brewery that Diaz is planning to open next year.

So if you are already missing the scallop tacos, the pork belly stewed with jalapeño oil or the inimitable nachostadas, all you have to do is wait a few weeks. The Whittier 7 Mares space never had an alcohol license, but I hope the michelada recipe eventually makes the trip from La Puente too.

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