Growing up in Oakland, Mariana Aguirre, who now runs the Tijuana-style taqueria La Parrilla Loca, noticed “there wasn’t much variety in Mexican comfort food.”
But now, look around. You’ll find smoky tacos al carbon from Tijuana, like those Aguirre makes; steamy tacos al vapor from Jalisco; scarlet-tinted al pastor shaved from a trompo hailing from Puebla; and tender, fatty lamb barbacoa from Hidalgo.
The Bay Area is entering a golden age of tacos. I’m seeing a concerted effort to represent various regional taco styles, with much of our local taco wealth concentrated in San Jose and Oakland. But how did we get here?