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Wes Avila Steps Down as Executive Taquero From Guerrilla Tacos After Eight Years

Los Angeles, California – April 23: Wes Avila, Chef/Owner of Guerilla Tacos in Downtown Los Angeles on April 23, 2020. (Brian Feinzimer)

[dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]his morning, Guerrilla Tacos has officially announced that its founder and Los Angeles’ most significant taquero of the last decade will no longer be the executive chef. This bombshell of an announcement in L.A.'s Taco Life comes after eight years of Wes Avila working his way up to the top of L.A.’s taquero ranks. 

Under Avila’s direction, what started as a taco cart in front of a coffee shop pushing the limits of what can be placed on a tortilla in the Arts District eight years ago grew to be arguably L.A.’s most iconic brick and mortar taquería on the corner of 7th Street and Santa Fe Avenue. The news of Avila relinquishing his post also follows the announcement of him opening a second taquería in Kyoto, Japan, and after a revealing personal essay written by his business partner, Brittney Valles, on the challenges of running a restaurant in Los Angeles during a pandemic published for Eater LA


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In August 2012, I started Guerrilla Tacos out of necessity. I only had $167 and rent to pay. Now, 8 years later it has taken on a life of its own. Guerrilla Tacos started as a cart, with just me and my Wife Tanya. Over the years, growing Guerrilla Tacos has been a labor of love. Now, I have decided to pass the reigns and step down as Executive Chef. I am looking forward to the ability to spend more time with my family. Growing a small business takes hard work, I have been the Captain of a large ship and I am ready to move on to the next adventure. Chef Jason Beberman takes over as Executive Chef and my longtime right hand man, Chef Steven Londono will continue to fulfill my vision as Chef de Cuisine. It has been a pleasure cooking for you all. I look forward to the next chapter. Much love and respect. Wes~ • 🌮 • • #guerrillatacos #LADontPlay #michelinbibgourmand #LA #bestfoodfeed #bestfoodLA #besttacosintheartsdistrict #latenight #Tacos #eeeeeats #eaterLA #Netflixfood #TheChefShow #JGold #GT #ThisIsLA

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L.A. Taco received numerous tips over the last few weeks with rumors about this happening. When reached out for a statement on July 20th, Valles responded with “he is just focusing on his current project and trust that the team he built is holding it down.” In the post on Instagram, Guerrilla Tacos shares that Chef Jason Beberman, formerly of Grammercy Tavern and Empellon in New York,  is taking over as Executive Chef. Along with his “longtime right-hand man,” Chef Steven Londono.

Valles continues, “Wes has been focusing on his new restaurant in Japan since March. He is still behind the scenes allowing other team members to take point.”

L.A. Taco first celebrated Avila’s distinct approach to tacos in 2013, when his tacos were featured at a street art pop-up we hosted. Dozens of tacos later, we still champion his game-changing tacos, his “L.A. Don’t Play” philosophy, and the institution he’s built. 

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