Taco/Social, a casual dining spot with inventive, “freeform tacos” and a broad selection of tequila-based cocktails and owned by a contingent of Pasadena-area restaurateurs, has opened in Eagle Rock. The restaurant is housed in a historic, 5,000-square-foot brick building and includes indoor dining, bar seating, an outdoor patio and a private dining room for special events.
“We see an opportunity to approach tacos in a completely different way,” said Elise Wetzel, co-founder of Blaze Pizza. “At Taco/Social, we’ll serve chef-created, globally inspired tacos in a counter-order format, so the food will be both craveable and affordable. And we’ll offer signature cocktails, plenty of outdoor seating and a family-friendly kids’ menu. Both the food and the format are unique, and we think the community will love it.”
Inspired by flavors from around the world, Taco/Social offers an unconventional take on L.A.’s favorite food – with creative taco flavors such as Greek Life, Banh Mi, NOLA Po Boy and Tikka Masala. Recipes were created in consultation with “Top Chef” winner Ilan Hall and executive chef Jonathan Paiz, and ingredients are thoughtfully sourced, with sauces, toppings and proteins prepared fresh each day. The restaurant’s signature tortillas are made fresh to order using a dough recipe with just five simple ingredients: flour, butter, water, salt and baking soda. Additional menu items include street corn, house-made queso, loaded nachos and a shareable milk-and-cookies cake, offering a playful twist on the traditional tres leches dessert. For guests with dietary preferences, the restaurant will offer a range of gluten-free, vegetarian and keto menu options. Guests can also substitute either corn tortillas (gluten-free, vegan) or lettuce wraps for flour tortillas on any taco.
Taco/Social features a tequila-forward bar with specialty fresh and frozen margaritas, plus craft cocktails, wine and draft beer. Specialty drinks were developed in partnership with celebrity mixologist Phil Wills, a regular on the hit TV show “Bar Rescue,” and includes a sweet/smoke margarita, Oaxacan old-fashioned and hot honey whiskey lemonade. Daily social hours feature food and drink specials from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
“We’re one part taco and one part social,” said John Bicos, co-owner of South Pasadena’s Gus’s BBQ and Magnolia House. “You can come for the food and grab some drinks or come for a drink and grab some delicious, memorable tacos.”
Taco/Social is a collaboration from the founders and partnership teams of several Pasadena-based brands, including Gus’s BBQ, Dog Haus Biergarten, Magnolia House, Kings Row Gastropub, Blaze Pizza, Wetzel’s Pretzels and the Original Tops.
“This group of Pasadena friends has wanted to collaborate on a new concept for a long time and now we’ve come together to create Taco/Social,” said André Vener, co-founder of Dog Haus. “The vision for us was to create a neighborhood place that we’d enjoy sharing with our friends. The result is Taco/Social – an affordable, polished fast-casual concept with a fun bar program. It’s designed to be a community gathering spot where you can grab a quick lunch, watch a game or linger over a dinner with friends.”
The restaurant, at 1627 Colorado Blvd. in the heart of Eagle Rock, is located in an art deco-style building located on what was once part of the original Route 66. Built in 1931 during the early adoption of the automobile, it functioned as an auto repair shop for nearly 70 years. The building is listed as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (No. 692) dedicated in April 2001. Wick Architecture and Cátia Sander Design led the building remodel.
Taco/Social is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. No reservations are required. Guests simply order at the counter and sit at any table they choose. Restaurant staff delivers food and drinks tableside and can take orders for any additional items. For store hours or to place an online order for takeout or delivery, visit tacosocial.com.