San Francisco

La Cocina Chefs Share Spotlight In Hayes Valley Taco Pop-Up Series

On Sunday, Hayes Valley taco fans will get a chance to get their taco fix with a pop-up project from La Cocina, the Mission-based food incubator.

Earlier this month, four different La Cocina entrepreneurs relaunched Tacos Cala  at 50 Hickory Alley. The pop-up, which lasts several months, runs between 11am and 2pm. Tacos are available for $3.50, while three tacos that come with agua fresca are served for $12.50.

Tacos Cala is an addition to the Mexican restaurant Cala (149 Fell St.), that opened its doors almost two years ago. The restaurant will also make cocktails, as well as beer and wine available for the pop-up.

Mixiote, a traditional Mexican dish. | Photo: mixiotesf/Instagram

Mission-based community space La Cocina provides an affordable commercial kitchen, industry-specific technical assistance, as well as access to market opportunities to low-income food entrepreneurs.

The community kitchen also tries to make sure participants are provided with an opportunity to grow their businesses.

"All of the La Cocina businesses participating in the pop-up are in the beginning stages of their development, and most haven't yet sold their food publicly," said Jessica Mataka, communications and development coordinator at La Cocina.

"I started my business to achieve a better quality of life for my family and [that] people from other [countries] could try authentic Mexican food," chef and owner Guadalupe Moreno of Mi Morena told Hoodline.

Mi Morena will offer its tacos in Hayes Valley in the fall, between September 10th and October 8th.

Mixiote is the first business participating at the Tacos Cala event series. They will pop-up at the lunchtime taqueria in the back alley until August 6th.

Mixiote isn't just the name ofthe business, it's also a traditional meat dish made with beef, chicken, pork or vegetables, marinated in a sauce and wrapped in avocado and banana leaves. At Tacos Cala, Mixiote serves chicken, pork, beef and soy meat tacos, as well as rice bowls. 

"[T]he recipes are from my grandmother who taught us how to cook and shared her secrets with us," Olivia Mecalco, chef and owner at Mi Comedor said.

Her tacos will be served at the pop-up event from August 13th to September 3rd. "I've worked in [...] restaurants for the past 19 years, but I still needed support from someone like La Cocina," she said.

Rosa Martinez, chef and owner at Origen, said she started early. "As a child I would help [my mother] cook and sell food at our local plaza," she said.

Her business will be the final one to pop up at the taqueria. Patrons can taste her creations right before Thanksgiving, from October 15th to November 12th.


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