Cartel Del Taco
Mexico City has come to Hawthorne. Cartel Del Taco – a brand-new Mexican-inspired street taqueria – has delivered as close to an authentic experience as one can get without boarding a plane. Childhood friends Marco Ramirez and Erick Martinez (formerly head chef at MAYA Mexican) have teamed up for the venture, which has been three years in the making. The duo has gone to great lengths to create a true-to-life taqueria that evokes the tastes and dining experience of their home country. Marco and Erick have travelled to and from Mexico several times over the past few years, undertaking buying sprees that have seem them accumulate a shipping container’s worth of decorative pieces and cooking equipment for the venue. Everything from hand-made 1980s Mexican taqueria-style seating, art, plates and glasses has been imported for the concept, which sits across the road from Hawthorne Garage and a tortilla toss from other Hawthorne eateries like Sister, Nodo, Botanica and Downtown Istanbul. Cartel Del Taco boasts space for 60 (spread across indoor and outdoor seating) and a warm retro white-and-red colour scheme. As for the fare, tacos naturally take centre stage with ten tongue-tantalising options to choose from (five street style and five premium options), including the al pastor taco con todo (with everything) and the Gringa, which will boast Trompo-grilled meat topped with melted Oaxaca cheese, special home-made salsa and grilled pineapple. Cartel Del Taco’s bar serves tequila- and mezcal-infused cocktails, as well as Dos Equis on tap, bottles of Tecate, Pacifico and Modelo, and hard seltzer from Topo Chico in Monterrey.