First there were the working-class Mexican lonchero trucks, quietly slinging their humble tacos. Then, a few years later, their up-market successors hit the scene, scrambling the cultural references (cucumber kimchi slaw, bao buns instead of tortillas) and pumping up the price. The most successful of them — including the Flying Pig and Komodo — eventually went on to open brick-and-mortar locations themselves.
And now, to complete the trend’s arc, comes Calle Tacos, an ersatz truck that has just parked itself off Hollywood Blvd. in a recessed and covered area adjoining Playhouse, the dance club that has drawn the likes of Scooter Braun, Kendra Wilkinson, Jimmy Iovine and Nicole Scherzinger. In reality merely a traditional restaurant kitchen with a truck frame affixed to its front, the order window peeking through, it’s open to the public – not just those who have made it past the velvet rope – from 11AM to 4AM on days when Playhouse is open, and 2AM when it is not.
“We saw all of these trucks down Sunset Blvd. and we thought, ‘How cool would it be to build a taco truck right inside the facility, bringing in what’s going on in the street?’” says Rob Vinokur, one of the partners behind Playhouse. The club brought in Javier and Dorian Villaseñor, who run a large portfolio of local Mexican restaurants (including Tacos Don Chente), to execute the concept, which presents the standard array of al pastor and asada offerings.
Adds Vinokur: “Whether they’re eating or not eating, people stop and take pictures because it’s something they haven’t seen before. We’re hoping it becomes a landmark in the neighborhood.”
6508 Hollywood Blvd., L.A., 323.465.9100, calletacos.com