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Colorful New Virgil Village Restaurant Draws Inspiration From Marfa, Texas

Tanka does tacos, Mexican wine, and patio seating this fall

A new restaurant in Los Angeles, under construction.
Farley Elliott
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

A new wave of restaurants and bars is set to change the landscape of Virgil Village soon, from wine spots and bagel shops to a brand new colorful corner operator known simply as Tanka, opening this fall.

Tanka is the work of the Continental Development Group, a multi-faceted private equity firm with its money in neighborhoods from Culver City and Eagle Rock to Echo Park. For this project they’ve brought on Tatanka Guerrero, who previously opened spots like Orange Blossom in Miami and, even more famously, Al Campo and Playa in Marfa, Texas.

Guerrero tells Eater that the plan with Tanka is to keep some of that Marfa sensibility, with lots of colorful art (and a small retail space for artists), greenery, and concrete and wood decor. The restaurant will seat close to 100 diners all told, including indoor and outdoor space.

As for the menu, Guerrero is working with Mexican chef Oscar Cortazar to help oversee the overall direction, leaning into crudos, tacos, tiraditos, and botañas. Expect elements from Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Beer and wine will hail mostly from Texas and Mexico directly.

Look for Tanka to arrive sometime later this fall, as the restaurant’s entire development slowly transforms with other concepts down the line. In the meantime, Guerrero will park a food truck out front from September 20 to 22 to serve up early versions of his menu to the neighborhood.

Tanka. 611 N. Virgil Ave., Los Angeles, CA.