Just before the weekend I took a look inside the new Yaletown location of Tacofino with owners Jason Sussman and Kaeli Robinson (and their two adorable children). The 1,300 sqft restaurant is nearing completion at 1025 Mainland Street. It is Tacofino’s third brick and mortar address in Vancouver (they also have a location in downtown Victoria).
Not bad for a company that started out in a gravel parking lot in Tofino!
This one is going to different from the others in a number of ways, beginning with the shape, which is long and thin as opposed to broadly open concept. From the design and ops perspectives, there’s no bar and no hightop seating, and it’s a counter service operation. Shiloh Sukkau is again in charge of overall design, with the fetching, colourful mural running the length of the room being the work of Courtney Presber, who pulls double duty as a server at Tacofino’s Hastings-Sunrise location.
Managing Partner Gino Di Domenico was on site during my walk-through, and he was kind enough to give me a copy of the menu, which also stands apart. It focuses almost entirely on (mostly new) burritos and tacos – seven and six respectively:
White Beans and Pickled Cauliflower | Red and Green Cabbage Slaw, Pickled Carrot and Daikon, Cilantro Green Mole, Crispy Rice, Spicy Not – So – Fish Sauce
Lemongrass Chicken | Garlic Rice, Pickled Carrot and Daikon, Jalapenos, Tamarind Mayo, Sirachi, Cabbage, Arugala, Cilantro, Green Onion, Crispy Shallots
Tater Tot Carnitas | Pork and Cannellini Beans, Kimchi, Sirachi Crema, Cabbage, Arugala, Cilantro, Green Onion
Beef Brisket Barbacoa | Sweet and Savoury Black Beans, Green Rice, Pickled Jalapenos, Cabbage, Arugala, Cilantro, Green Onion, Black Chili Mayo, Verde Fresca, Crispy Shallots
Fried Squid | Pork and Cannellini Beans, Green Rice, Kimchi, Red and Green Cabbage Slaw, Cilantro, Maggi Mayo
Smoked Tuna | Red and Green Cabbage Slaw, Iceberg, Pickled Onion and Tomatillos, Cilantro, Avocado Jalapeno Mayo, Serrano
Blue Corn Crispy Chicken Wrap | Iceberg, Pickled Onions, Serrano, Cilantro, Chili Buttermilk Ranch
Lemongrass Chicken | Cabbage, Pickled Carrot and Daikon, Jalapeños, Cilantro, Tamarind Mayo, Sriracha
Soft and Crunchy Carnitas | White Cheddar and Monterey Jack, Cabbage, Cilantro, Pickled Onion, Fresca Verde
Fish | Crispy Cod, Cabbage, Salsa Fresca, Chipotle Mayonnaise
Smoked Tuna | Red and Green Cabbage Slaw, Pickled Onion and Tomatillo, Serrano, Cilantro, Avocado Jalapeño Mayo
Cannellini Bean | Pickled Onion, Tomatillo, Cilantro, Achiote Crema, Feta
Expect a supporting cast of nachos, pepper shrimp, a chipotle kale caesar salad, grilled wings, and other things besides, plus bottled margaritas and palomas. As with all the previous Tacofino iterations, the menu reads easily and to the point. Though I’m not privy to opening day prices, I trust they will be in the same ballpark as the other addresses, which is to say cheap.
The Health Inspector was scheduled to come in yesterday. If all goes according to plan the 38 seater could open as soon as this weekend. Hours are going to be 11am to 10pm, with late night service on weekends. Take a look inside: