Project Taco just popped up in Mid-Wilshire, meaning now you don’t have to go all the way to Hermosa Beach to taste some of L.A.'s most creative fusion tacos.
The new outpost of the South Bay favorite is just west of Crescent Heights Boulevard, not far from the food trucks on Wilshire near LACMA. Project Taco's grab-and-go setup suits this busy area well, but you can also eat inside at its two communal tables.
The space is shoebox small. If you attempt to go into what you think is an adjacent room, you’ll smash your face against a full-length mirror instead. The food is the same as it is in Hermosa — where the would-be chain started in 2012 — but what’s special about the Wilshire location is its serious craft beer program.
Curated by Nick Fontova, a part owner who calls himself “the resident beer nerd,” the beer list might turn out to be as big an attraction as the tacos. Each Thursday night, a new beer is tapped; if you order it, you get to take the glass home. Highlights from the regular list include the coffee stout from Modern Times in San Diego, which roasts its own coffee beans; Hangar 24’s Orange Wheat from Redlands, which is made with fresh oranges; and the extraordinarily floral Go to Session IPA, from Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido.
Tuesday’s bargain (hello, Taco Tuesday!) is three tacos for $9 — they’re normally $4 each. If you miss that, there are $1-off bargains on Saturday and Sunday and during happy hour Monday through Friday.
Project Taco’s idea of a taco isn't your average al pastor, either. Instead, think: pork with blueberry Sriracha BBQ sauce and apple-kale coleslaw. A 20-something customer (and this place definitely has a young vibe) raved about the Thai peanut taco — chicken with spicy Thai peanut sauce, carrot shreds, cabbage, cucumber and chili garlic sauce.
More traditional but still nothing you'd find in an East L.A. taqueria is the Wilshire pot roast, with shredded beef, cabbage, onions, cilantro and chili garlic aioli. The chicken-avocado taco contains guacamole and a dab of sweet, intensely spicy pineapple habanero salsa. Another good option is the green-chili pork, with cilantro crema and tomatillo salsa.
There are milder “kid” tacos, breakfast tacos and even vegetarian options, which include hummus and meat substitutes made with soy and pea protein. If you’re going gluten-free, specify corn tortillas. Otherwise, you’ll get tortillas made with a blend of white corn and wheat flour. Arriba!
Project Taco, 6325 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 424-7564. Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, to midnight Thursday through Saturday.