New La Jolla restaurant: The Taco Stand offers authentic Mexican street food
• NEW BUSINESS REPORT:
By Pat Sherman
When Ortega’s Place Mexican restaurant closed after decades on Pearl Street, the owners of the adjacent Pizza on Pearl — both of Mexican descent — saw an opportunity to open The Taco Stand, an eatery serving authentic Mexican street tacos, basic with no frills. “We know what an authentic taco is,” said co-owner Gibran Fernandez. “We were always of the mind to bring that concept north. The Taco Stand mimics a real taco stand from Mexico.”
All menu items are made from scratch daily, including the tortillas, guacamole and hot churros sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
Other menu items include: flame grilled nopal (cactus) tacos with melted cheese, cilantro sauce, tomato and avocado; battered or grilled fish tacos; rotisserie marinated pork tacos with pineapple; grilled shrimp tacos with melted cheese, avocado, cabbage and chipotle sauce; and corn on the cob with parmesan, mayo and chili powder.
Co-owner Aram Baloyan said the eatery’s niche is the tender Angus beef it uses in its tacos and burritos.
“I can sincerely say that no taco shop has that quality of meat,” Baloyan boasted. “Even the supplier said, ‘Do you really want to serve that meat? It’s not cost effective,’ and I said, ‘yeah, yeah, I really do.’ What we don’t make on the meat itself we make on other products — and we get the best advertising, which is word of mouth, and that’s what we’ve been getting.”
Baloyan said they don’t have to cut their meat into tiny pieces, like taco joints that use a cheaper grade. “It’s bigger, tastier, juicier,” he said.
To appeal to a wider variety of tastes, the Taco Stand offers some non-traditional items such as carne asada fries (also made with Angus beef), veggie tacos, a California burrito and a creamy cilantro-style salsa.
The eatery also serves Mexican hot chocolate (perfect for the season), and fruit popsicles made fresh and delivered weekly with flavors from caramel to walnut, pistachio and spicy mango.
Baloyan said patrons will soon be able to have tacos added to the delivery of any pie from Pizza on Pearl. “When they order a pizza and it’s ready to go, we just coordinate,” he said.
THE TACO STAND
621 Pearl St., La Jolla
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Monday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Happy Hour: No
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- On the Menu Recipe: Alfonso’s of La Jolla’s Carne Asada & Camaron Combo
- Piquant flavors of Mexico City come to La Jolla at Puesto
- Casa de Bandini in Carlsbad serves Mexican favorites as a feast for the senses
- New chef stirs up Mediterranean Room’s fare with fresh, international flavors
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