Santa Monica’s beloved, tucked-away-taco shop Tacos Punta Cabras is on the move. Enthusiasts who headed to their Santa Monica Blvd location with hopes of grabbing a fish taco or a cup of ceviche this week were met with an empty restaurant and a “closed” sign instead. A post on the restaurant’s Facebook page gave a few more details.
“We apologize that we had to move, but rest assured, we are growing in size, space wise, as well as menu size,” the post read.
The restaurant’s owners plan to reopen at 10th Street and Broadway at the end of summer or early fall but know in the meantime their customers need their fix.
“I don’t want people going through taco withdrawal and shaking in the streets,” joked chef Mark Mittleman over the phone this week, saying that he is still taking catering orders and thinking about renting a truck to keep the kitchen sizzling this summer. Fans can also find Mittleman at Tacolandia, LA’s largest ticketed taco festival, on June 17.
In case you missed it, the Santa Monica taco shop recently popped up on must-eat lists for several publications including LAEater, LA Weekly and The Infatuation. LA Weekly praised the restaurant for cramming “a lot of great food into that small space.” But while there was a lot of hype surrounding the seafood tacos, Mittleman insists their customers were mostly from the neighborhood.
“We had a very good amount of regulars,” Mittleman said. “Everything to me is about neighborhood and the customers – I call them guests … I have a hospitality philosophy.”
Mittleman says it was important for the restaurant to stay east of Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica, explaining “it’s our hood.” The abrupt move of one of the City’s most frequently blogged restaurants can be traced back to a number of factors. Mittleman says they had been leasing month-to-month and couldn’t come to an agreement with the landlord who wants to renovate the building.
“We were looking to expand anyway so it was kind of forced and at the same time we wanted it. I look at is as a positive not a negative,” Mittleman said.
The new location will triple the size of the restaurant and allow Mittleman to expand with a full service menu. The new location boasts another big bonus: parking.
Still, that hasn’t kept foodies from worrying the heart and soul of their favorite little establishment may be lost in the move.
“I AM HEARTBROKEN – Tacos PC is now closed, empty of all furniture with a sign on their window stating they are reopening…with table service and a full bar. Sigh,” wrote one Yelp user. “I am so sad Santa Monica doesn’t need more upscale places with fancy cocktails and high prices – but of course I’ll give them a chance and wish them well when they reopen.”
You can follow @TacosPuntaCabras on Twitter or like the restaurant on Facebook to keep up with their next moves.