Media members and locals alike got their first taste of Loqui last night, the modern Northern Mexico-styled taco shop soon to open at Platform in Culver City. During a coming out party for the whole mixed-use complex, owners Ari Ampudia and Cameron Wallace served a limited selection of crossover tacos, using traditional mesquite-grilled carne asada wrapped in handmade flour tortillas that had been blistered on the griddle. Add a swipe of guacamole and you’ve got the genesis of an entire restaurant, wrapped up in a single taco.
Loqui is the genesis of years of friendship between Wallace and Ampudia — and many trips to Baja and beyond. The duo have been dreaming up the restaurant, a smallish affair with simple seating and a limited menu of tacos and other Mexican favorites, for quite some time, even staging pop-ups together over the years up in San Francisco. Wallace was a longtime baker for Tartine, and as far back as 2013 he and Mexico City native Ampudia have been making tacos and other simple street snacks.
Their new location at the Platform allows them a permanent place to serve, right next door to Blue Bottle and around the corner from the forthcoming The Cannibal. The Loqui space is dim but inviting inside, with a brighter back patio that’s perfect for chatting with friends. Beyond the Mexican food, Ampudia will also be serving a curated selection of beer and wine, including one tap that’s likely dedicated for Modelo and another rotating through with local and Baja-based craft beer options like Insurgente or Wendtland.
The place is essentially ready to go, as evidenced by last night’s smoothly-running lines. Expect Loqui to officially make its debut sometime in early April.
8850 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA