Venice Beach, California - Tocaya

With two weekends of racing in a row in Southern California, I opted to stay down in the LA Area between the two events. Red Bull HQ is located in Santa Monica which made it an easy choice to head to the beach for a few days of gym workouts, hard training and exploring the local scene (and cuisine).

Between race weekends, I often have one or two key workouts to keep building fitness and get the body ready for another hard effort. Tuesday brought a very hard workout on one of Santa Monica’s steep climbs - and certainly left me in need of refueling. Enter: tacos.

The Taco Spot: Tocaya

We had driven by the hip Tocaya restaurant many times and were eager to test it out for ourselves. The restaurant is on a corner in Venice Beach and boasts organic, fresh, local ingredients as well as trendy decor. Given it was a Tuesday, we opted for their tacos which were discounted for our favorite weekly holiday.

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Their taco menu is a bit interesting - offering preselected preparations that can be paired with various meat and cheese options. I went with the chef recommended pairings and was not disappointed. I tried a cali tacos with achiote chicken and manchego cheese, the tulum taco with chicken tinga and queso fresco and the barrio taco with carne mold and jalapeño jack. To drink, I had a strawberry basil aqua fresca. Brad and I also shared guacamole with plantain chips to start which I HIGHLY recommend.

The ambience is also notable for this spot. You order at a walk up counter, take a number and sit either outside or in their hip back patio. It has a very LA vibe and is both casual and nice.

Overall, the food was to die for. The tortillas definitely tasted hand made and were thick. Personally, I am a fan of one, thicker corn tortilla rather than two thinner ones which often don’t stand up to the job. The meats were deliciously spiced and very flavorful but the preparations left them tasting fresh and clean. The unique preparations enhanced the flavors in a way that absolutely exceeded your average taco. My only knock is that the tacos are a bit small and pretty pricey - but in no way does that undermine their deliciousness.

Tacos: 5/5

Ambience: 4/5

Fun factor: 5/5

Value: 3/5

Overall: 4.5/5