The new hotspot in the San Fernando Valley is a taqueria, bar, and nighttime hangout called Taco by the side of the road. Roadside opened last Thursday in the former Xen Lounge club with an expansive patio, tacos and cocktails right in the heart of Studio City.
Roadside is the work of Ben Goglia of the Blue Collar bar in Fairfax and chef Lanny Marquez, who left his post as business manager at LA Live’s Rosa Mexicana to produce a menu that is in part a Mexican taco stand, partly Los Angeles.
“Everything we do is a gourmet version of a street taco,” explains Marquez. “We are reaching parts of Mexico to present an ode to the classics, but with an LA and modern twist. “
There are many familiar offerings with cochinita pibil, asada and al pastor tacos. Marquez even took inspiration from his Salvadoran past and created one with Salvadoran chorizo. He even developed chicken birria in place of the more traditional beef or goat stew. Vegetarians have more than one option with hongos / mushrooms and grilled pineapple al pastor cauliflower that uses a Jalisco technique.
Goglia featured a long menu of margaritas served frozen or on ice, but also added caipirinhas and a drink called the beekeeper, made with lemon juice, lavender bitters, fresh blackberries, and bourbon. The horchata and jamaica are homemade. But the highlight of the cocktail is a michelada using Marquez’s birria consomme, fresh pineapple and Tecate.
The partners took the old space up to the stud farm to remove all the remains of the old nightclub. The space is now an airy and comfortable place to sit, surrounded by high walls, jasmine plants, and murals.
“We wanted to make it an extension of a neighbor’s backyard in LA, and at the same time honor those roadside taco establishments that are spread all over Mexico,” says Goglia. “Like we were if you were walking down a dirt road and stumbling upon an old garage to get your car fixed, and then you know you know sons or daughters are making tacos for friends and family. in the backyard. ” Hours from Tuesday to Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday until 1:30 a.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.