Tacolicious may have launched in 2009 as a stand at the Thursday Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, but Joe's love affair with Mexico started when he was a kid. Back in the 70's, his parents would hitch a catamaran to their VW van and drive the family down to Baja to camp on the beach for months at a time (hippies!). When Joe returned to Mexico as an adult, it was trip that he and Sara took to Mexico City, eating their way through modern spots such as Contramar and El Califa, that provided the "aha" moment that ultimately lead to Tacolicious. By the start of 2010, T-lish had opened its first brick-and-mortar on Chestnut Street.
Today, Tacolicious has five Bay Area locations and the restaurant is as San Franciscan (see: Marina Girl salad) as it is Mexican (see: guajillo-beef tacos de guisado). We also have a spin-off in San Miguel de Allende, MX called Taco Lab; a tequila bar called Mosto; and our cantina Bar San Pancho. For our philanthropic efforts, read all about the Tacolicious School Project.
After 15 years of managing FOH operations at key SF restaurants—not to mention opening his first restaurant Laïola—Joe decided to toss aside dining formalities for margaritas and tacos. (Forks, as he sees it, are overrated.) Today, Joe does the big stuff but also curates the T-lish playlist and keeps the office abreast on politics and baseball.
Last meal on earth: Leg of lamb with tapenade, '99 Chave Hermitage, Marlboro Reds.
In his next life he’ll be: Clayton Kershaw.
Pet peeve: LED light bulbs.
Mike is known as being a man of few words and a lot of action. Our chief operations officer first met Joe when he landed as a manager at Laïola, Tacolicious’s predecessor. Mike surfs Ocean Beach and loves the Giants as much as Joe loves the Dodgers which makes for a sporting relationship.
In his next life he'll be: A dolphin.
Last meal on earth: Contramar's pescado a la talla.
Best T-lish memory: Staining the floors of the PDR of Tacolicious Valencia at midnight with Joe, tequila and a 12-pack.
Before jumping headfirst into T-lish, Sara was a food writer and an editor at San Francisco and has contributed to likes of Sunset and Saveur. Sara has written a few cookbooks including Tacolicious. She oversees branding, the School Project and relishes her heated Beyonce v. Madonna debates with Ron.
Tacolicious hack: Take albondigas to-go. Put it over spaghetti. Crumble queso fresco. Trust.
Best taco memory: Egg and a tortilla on a wood-fired comal cooked up by Juanito's mom in Tekit.
Known around the office for: Losing my phone. Ok, losing everything.
Born in San Antonio, Quinten attended culinary school in Austin where he had his share of tacos. But it was his time traveling and cooking in Mexico that sealed the deal. After stints in Honolulu helming Salt (see: James Beard Rising Star Chef semifinalist) and in DC working for José Andrés, Quentin moved to SF to be the kitchen jefe for Tacolicious.
Next stop: Vietnam and Laos.
Signature dish: Migas tacos.
Last meal on earth: A whole lobe of foie gras.
For Tacolicious alone, Jared has worked as a bartender, private dining server, caterer, delivery driver, assistant general manager, bar manager, catering ops manager, sales director, and—his favorite—"storage unit wrangler." Jared is equally renowned for riding his bike from San Francisco to Oaxaca and back.
Best taco memory: Tacos de birria with consume on the street in DF.
Secret skill: "I've been called the Mario Batali of camp cooking."
Known around the restaurant as: "The back of the house still doesn't know my name. They just call me Tecate."
Tina most recently worked at the San Francisco Courtyard Marriott where, as the Director of Food and Beverage, she pulled together an 1800-plate dinner. A San Francisco native, Tina unabashedly plays top 40 tunes at work and has a particular soft spot for boy bands from the 90s.
In her next life she’ll be: A rock star.
Secret skill: Nunchucks.
Favorite T-lish hack: Shrimp quesadilla with guacamole and orange sauce.
Connie keeps our finances under control by intimidating everyone with the purple dragon slippers she wears in the office. A proud native SF'an who knows a thing or two about the Sunset where she grew up, she came to T-lish by way of Bon Appetit Management and Pacific Catch.
Next stop: Vietnam.
In her next life she’ll be: A skinny b**** that can eat all the queso in the world.
Favorite non-Mexican SF restaurant: San Tung for wings; Ha Nam Ninh for #25 Dry.
Christine has worked in front of the house ops as well as HR which makes her an unusually balanced person. Born in Munich, Germany, Christine is a “super proud Bavarian.” This isn't to say she doesn’t take her food interests south of the border (ask about her Taco Bell Crunch Wrap Supreme with Fire Sauce issue).
In her next life she’ll be: Princess Kate, clearly.
Next stop: Southern Spain and Morocco.
Favorite non-Mexican SF restaurants: Aina, Out the Door, Katana-Ya.
A native of Northern California, Lu likes the simple things in life: sticks, balls, and bones. Startling at the smallest, shivering Chihuahua, Lu hasn't proven to be much of an office watch dog. However, she does like to lick everyone.
Nickname: Lu the Poo.
In her next life she'll be a: Scaredy cat.
Next stop: Fort Funston with Ellen.