Back in 2012, Chef Wes Avila was between jobs and needed to pay rent so he decided he’d hit the streets and try his hand at making tacos for extra cash. With the help of his wife, Tanya, he set-up his cart in front coffee shops in the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles for small services a few days a week.
After a year of cart life, Wes was shut down by the city so he knew he had to go legit. This serendipitous event forced him to get a food truck but also helped to expand his offerings to more locations throughout Los Angeles. As the menu and locations grew, so did Guerrilla Tacos popularity.
By 2015, the business had grown too big for one person to manage so Chef Wes took on a partner, Brittney Valles to handle the business operations. Guerrilla Tacos continued to expand and has now evolved from a food truck to a brick and mortar restaurant.
The restaurant location opened in July 2018 just a few blocks away from the original spot Wes set up shop with his cart. The truck has been fully retired - Chef Wes never forgets where it all started, with $167 and a small taco cart.
Chef Wes Avila
When Chef Wes Avila first started Guerrilla Tacos in 2012 he wasn’t setting out to do something different—he was setting out to do something good. He had gone to culinary schools in California and France, had cooked alongside some of the most recognized chefs in the world—Walter Manske at L’Auberge, Gary Menes at Le Comptoir, Alain Ducasse at Le Centre de Le Formacion—but he had still not found his own style. Then, one day while driving through his home city in Pico Rivera of East LA, the idea hit him like a stick slamming into a pinata. Tacos. The perfect medium. They were approachable and unpretentious, but could be made into the small and perfected fine-dining meals he had studied and loved. Tacos. He could make them with locally sourced ingredients and experiment with unique recipes and not have to worry about serving them with all the pretense of a fine dining establishment. Tacos, it was the way he would bring gourmet to the street and do something good.