Petty Cash Taqueria
Southern California is no stranger to tacos – nowhere in the USA is Mexican food done better than in this state (and if all else fails, a quick road trip to the country itself could be arranged to sate a craving). But while cheap-n-quick tacos can be had by the truck-full, the elevated, modernised taco is rather more elusive. It is also exactly what chef Walter Manzke delivers at Petty Cash Taqueria, a playful and thoroughly delicious take on Mex-American from Bill Esparza and Bill Chait, the latter who also brought us Bestia
In a casual, open space fitted with communal bench seating and a shuffleboard in the back, Petty Cash offers a menu of inspired tacos – ‘the Kraken’ comes with grilled octopus, charred chile de arbol and peanuts; while the charcoal-roasted Portobello mushroom option is stuffed with asparagus, jack cheese and pipian. Other starring items include the ‘ceviche negro’ of squid ink, New Zealand grouper, and mango, and the signature crispy pig ear nachos with crema poblana and a poached egg on top. The drinks are nothing to scoff at either, with the Julian Cox-curated cocktail list featuring the adventurous ‘Banana Hammock’ with rum, banana infusion, tamarind, cassia and dehydrated banana chip. With flavours this good on home turf, there’s hardly a reason to stray south of the border!