Guerrilla Tacos, Wes Avila's farmers market-fueled taco truck that has become part of the downtown Arts District culinary landscape over the past couple of years, will transition into a brick-and-mortar location in the same neighborhood next year, Avila confirmed to The Times on Thursday.
Guerrilla Tacos, #13 on Jonathan Gold's 101 Best Restaurants list, is known for being not-your-average-taco-truck. Think tacos full of sea urchin, wild boar, duck breast and a bounty of fresh produce. Avila — whose culinary training includes cooking in Paris under Alain Ducasse — started making tacos under makeshift tents in 2012 and eventually launched the food truck that people follow religiously today; he's finally ready to open his first restaurant.
Here are five things you need to know about the new space:
1. Avila has secured an approximately 2,400 square-foot space near the corner of Hewitt Street and 1st Street in the Arts District, just a couple blocks from where he built a strong following on the truck in front of coffee shops in the area.
"It's where we started," said Avila of the location. "We've always had a really strong following and support there."
2. The restaurant is scheduled to open next summer. Until then, you can get your taco fix on the truck. You can find the schedule at www.guerrillatacos.com.
3. There will be both indoor and outdoor seating at the new location. Will the wild boar tacos taste better on a sun-drenched patio than on a street curb? We'll have to wait and see.
"It has a backyard with a tree," said Avila of the new space. "That backyard-BBQ feel, that's what we want to have."
4. Once the brick-and-mortar location opens, don't expect to find the Guerrilla Tacos truck around town. Avila said he'll be focusing solely on the brick and mortar, which was always his goal.
"As far as the truck goes, I'm tired of flat tires, accidents on the freeway, broken axles," said Avila. "Its just a nightmare."
5. Expect more of the same Guerrilla menu items, but a little extra. "We're keeping it really focused on doing what we do now with burritos, tacos, tortas and tostadas," said Avila. "But we're definitely going to add some different things because we will have some space to play around with."
Often heard saying "follow that taco!" Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Jenn_Harris_