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Pico Boulevard’s New Takeout Joint Hopes to Be the In-N-Out of Hardshell Tacos

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Taco Bar opened in early March with hard and soft shell tacos

Taco Bar
Taco Bar
Courtesy of Taco Bar

Throughout the decades, the stretch of Pico Boulevard hosted some longstanding black-owned restaurants. Mo Better Meaty Meat’s original location was here, in addition to Meals By Genet, and Wi Jammin. There’s a new place called Taco Bar which opened three weeks ago.

Taco Bar’s opening is truly an LA story. First-time restaurant owners serve non-traditional tacos, and neither are Mexican. They spent 32 months revamping the former locksmith space into a tiny 275 square foot take-out spot. Taking inspiration from the simplicity at In-N-Out, Taco Bar focuses on one dish. They prepare soft or hard-shelled tacos to order with ground beef, ground turkey, shredded chicken, or vegetables.

Cousins JC and Seanie — who prefer not to use their last names — gave out free tacos during the first week of business as an introduction to the neighborhood. “Ours is just a simple taco, and the ingredients are really good,” says Seani. “We cook like we’re making this food for our own family.”

It took two-and-a-half years to navigate through unscrupulous contractors along with the vagaries of city codes and licenses. And while there’s no place to sit, diners can stand and eat at a counter until the permit is approved.

Taco Bar is less than a mile away from the 26-year-old Sky’s Gourmet Tacos. And while they’re very different businesses, JC and Seani join the ranks of other black-owned restaurants — including All Flavor No Grease, and Sky’s — that do their own thing with Mexican ingredients. Hours are Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., and close on Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m.

Taco Joint. 5815 West Pico Boulevard.

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