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Founding Chef Wes Avila Departs From Ambitious Modern Mexican Restaurant Guerrilla Tacos

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Avila made the surprise announcement on Instagram this morning

Chef Wes Avila in Los Angeles, California
Wes Avila
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Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

Chef Wes Avila is leaving Guerrilla Tacos, the restaurant he founded as a roving food cart in 2012. Avila made the announcement on Instagram this morning, almost two years after opening the first physical location of Guerrilla Tacos with partner Brittney Valles in the Arts District.

In his post, Avila shares that he’s ready to spend more time with his family and “move onto the next adventure.” That next adventure, no doubt, is Avila’s new restaurant Piopiko in the Ace Hotel Kyoto. Avila developed the taco/cocktail lounge which opened on June 11.

After spending time on the fine dining career track, Avila started Guerrilla Tacos in 2012, when the chef began as a food cart and eventually a food truck throughout Los Angeles before settling in 2016 in the former La Reyna space.

Guerrilla’s two-year development process was one of the city’s most anticipated. Avila, who hails from Pico Rivera, made regular food truck stops in the Arts District being settling the restaurant permanently in the area.

Guerrilla partner Valles outlined the challenges of operating during a pandemic in a first-person essay on Eater last month. Valles will now work with chef Jason Beberman — who took over from Jessica Largey at the shuttered Simone — as executive chef, and chef Steven Londono as chef de cuisine. Avila’s full post is below:

“In August 2012, I started Guerrilla Tacos out of necessity. I only had $167 and rent to pay. Now, 8 years later it has taken on a life of its own. Guerrilla Tacos started as a cart, with just me and my Wife Tanya. Over the years, growing Guerrilla Tacos has been a labor of love. Now, I have decided to pass the reigns and step down as Executive Chef. I am looking forward to the ability to spend more time with my family. Growing a small business takes hard work, I have been the Captain of a large ship and I am ready to move on to the next adventure. Chef Jason Beberman takes over as Executive Chef and my longtime right hand man, Chef Steven Londono will continue to fulfill my vision as Chef de Cuisine. It has been a pleasure cooking for you all. I look forward to the next chapter. Much love and respect. Wes~ • ”

Guerrilla Tacos

2000 East 7th Street, , CA 90021 (213) 375-3300 Visit Website