One of Austin, Texas’s best restaurants is opening in Los Angeles soon. Veracruz All Natural, considered by many to be the pinnacle of Austin’s robust taco scene, is set to open a food truck at the Line Hotel in Koreatown this fall. The news was first reported by the New York Times.
“I’ve always liked Los Angeles,” says co-owner Reyna Vazquez of her decision to head west. It won’t be easy, Vazquez told Eater by phone today while working on her truck in LA, but that’s the point. “There are already a lot of taco trucks, and I’m excited for the challenge.”
The incoming mobile operation marks the first out-of-Austin expansion for Veracruz All Natural owners Reyna and Maritza Vazquez, though they have grown from their original East Austin location to several other stops across that city, including at Austin’s own Line Hotel.
The new Los Angeles truck won’t actually carry the Veracruz name, the Vazquez’s tell Eater, in part because they wanted to keep that brand close to home, and to make sure it still felt personal to all of the fans who have supported them over the years. Instead, it will be called Hot Tacos, and will focus on a wider array of dishes beyond the Vazquez’s original menu of mostly regional dishes from the port city of Veracruz, Mexico. There will still be migas breakfast tacos (though with a slightly different recipe for the LA market) as well as nachos, quesadillas, and more. Reyna Vazquez says that this Los Angeles truck will even offer more options for vegans and vegetarians.
“We’ve been researching our options here for a couple of years,” Vazquez tells Eater, adding: “LA can be very overwhelming.” Still, the Vazquez’s say, they’re excited for the opportunity to expand their menu, and their reach, but they want to make sure to do so carefully. “We’re not coming with an ego,” says Reyna Vazquez. “We’re just hoping that there is some small way that we can catch on here, and maybe even expand to different neighborhoods.”
The food truck means that Hot Tacos will be able to explore different parts of the vast city, giving the team real-time market information about what dishes are working and where. Plus, they’ll have the Line Hotel parking lot as a primary operating base, working morning hours for breakfast tacos alongside the property’s Alfred Coffee location, and then starting up again for evening service as Koreatown’s many bars and nightlife options get going.
Assuming all goes well, the team hopes to open a brick-and-mortar location as well, though there is no confirmed address at this time. The Vazquezes are considering areas like Silver Lake and Highland Park, but for now, they’re all just eager to get cooking. “We want to introduce ourselves to people,” says Reyna Vazquez.
The arrival of Hot Taco is great news for LA’s already-booming taco ecosystem. The West Coast, in general, suffers from a dearth of breakfast tacos (outside of ever-expanding HomeState, which also has roots in Texas), and the Vazquez’s national acclaim means more eyeballs on this city’s massive and diverse Mexican food scene. The sisters themselves say they chose Los Angeles specifically because of the many taquerias and loncheros that are already working here; “We want to show that we can succeed in a city that has a lot of variety,” they told the Times. Veracruz All Natural’s upcoming Hot Tacos truck opens in just a few short weeks at the Line Hotel in Koreatown.