New in Town | Tocaya Organica



Call us cliché, but as days become warmer, our hankering for Mexican fare tends to grow stronger; lately, all we’ve been able to think about is al fresco fish tacos and a bowl of creamy guac. Of course, not all south of the border cuisine is equal– the greasier end of the spectrum tends to leave us wondering whether that extra bowl of chips was really necessary (we blame the pitcher of spicy margaritas). Leave it to Venice, then, to open a street-inspired Mexican joint where carne asada comes grass-fed and burrito bowls are vegan, vegetarian or free-range and organic. Newly opened, Tocaya Organica is the casual offshoot of West Hollywood’s Tocaya Madera; it’s mission? To celebrate traditional Mexican cooking, but adapted to reflect modern living– Genius. That means familiar flavors like cocoa, jicama, tamarind and chiles are the stars, but its vegetables are non-GMO and organic, its meat hormone and grain-free, and its queso fresh or vegan (depending on your dietary restrictions). The majority of Tocaya Organica’s menu consists of requisite, albeit unique salads and bowls: arugula tossed with tequila-soaked golden raisins and marcona almonds, sautéed poblano peppers with spanish rice and vegan sour cream, or cilantro rice with green lentils, sweet potato and pickled onions. Diners are encouraged to top each with the protein and queso of their choice, whether that’s ground turkey picante, seared mahi mahi or vegan sausage, and fresh manchego or vegan chipotle jack. Of course, the menu touts classics too: it boasts 5 taco and 5 burrito bases (ranging from jicama serrano slaw and butter lettuce shells to grilled vegetables and chipotle mojo), again with your choice of protein, cheese and sides. Crowd-pleasing accompaniments include fresh guacamole (served with plantain chips in lieu of the usual corn variety), salsa flights, black beans, street corn, and sweet corn tamales; for the new-age eaters, there’s a quinoa salad and tajin vegetables including chayote squash, carrots, zucchini and bell pepper. With a beer and wine license, it’s the perfect place to grab Mexican with friends guilt-free.

Tocaya Organica, 1715 Pacific Ave, Venice; 424.744.8692; CP


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