Tacos 1986, which surfaced in Hollywood last November only to receive wide acclaim and social media excitement in the past six months, is finally opening a storefront in Downtown Los Angeles. In partnership with Playhouse Group, which also operates Joe’s Pizza locations around town, Tacos 1986’s Victor Delgado and Jorge “Joy” Alvarez -Tostado will open their Tijuana-style taco shop at the corner of 6th and Spring Street with a June 24 target opening date. The stand makes fresh tortillas, grilling meats over fire then building each taco with guacamole and salsa. There’s a liberal use of melty cheese, which distinguishes the tacos from something more typical on the LA streets.
The stand first served in a parking lot along Highland Avenue before popping up in Koreatown for a number of weeks. LA Times critic Bill Addison gave the stand a rave review before it was forced to relocate from its Western Avenue perch. The stand started a weekly service at Smorgasburg on Sundays and launched various pop ups in Venice and other locations before settling into this permanent space.
Once it opens, Tacos 1986 will boast a small dining room with service from 11 a.m. to midnight seven days a week. Eventually the restaurant will expand hours to 2 a.m. on weekdays and 4 a.m. once it can establish consistent staffing. The menu will look familiar to fans, with carne asada, al pastor, chicken, and mushrooms, served via taco, quesadilla, vampiro (melted cheese), and the special off-menu perron, which draws inspiration from Rosarito’s famed El Yaqui.
Prices will also remain similar, with perhaps a 25 cent premium per dish for the physical space. In addition, Delgado and Alvarez-Tostado hope to use this storefront as a launching point for more locations around the city. In the meantime, they’ll serve throughout the summer at KCRW’s Night Market on Thursday evenings at the Bungalow in Santa Monica, which will run 5 to 10 p.m. every week at the beachside lounge. And Tacos 1986 will continue to operate at Smorgasburg in Downtown’s ROW on Sundays.