It may be tucked into the corner of a big strip mall south of the happening stretch of Figueroa, but the new brick-and-mortar location of Villa’s Tacos is still easy to find—just follow the smell of mesquite smoke. Superstar taquero Victor Villa’s voice booms joyously over the crowd of people, greeting the long line of friends, neighbors, and customers, many of whom fall into all three of those categories, and he has good reason to be enthusiastic. His new location is a hit. They’ve seamlessly jumped from a pop-up stand on York with limited hours into a stationary restaurant open every Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 9 pm. The meats are still perfumed with mesquite smoke and chopped to crumbly bits, the salsas still slap with just the right balance of salt and acid, and the cheese crust still flares out in a jagged halo around the edges of the handmade blue corn tortillas. Does the easy availability dampen the magic? For clout-chasers out there, perhaps—and so much the better for the rest of us.
How to book: Walk-ins only for now.