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How Chicas Tacos ‘Impossible’ American Crunchy Taco Is Changing the Cal-Mex Food Game

11:22 AM PDT on August 28, 2019

[dropcap size=big]B[/dropcap]oth forward-thinking and nostalgic at once, Executive Chef Eduardo Ruiz likens Chicas Tacos’ new Impossible taco to those he had as a child. 

“It has that memory of growing up and having hard-shells at home,” he told L.A. Taco.

The big difference between then and now: The Chicas Impossible taco uses the rockstar plant-based meat that is rapidly entering America’s foodservice industry: Impossible Foods. Aside from the meat and vegan Daiya cheese, the taco remains a classic American crunchy taco—iceberg lettuce and all. Although, Ruiz did add some sliced radishes for some extra crunch and pepperiness. Not to mention, he came up with his own secret blend of “taco spices.” 

It’s a familiar yet innovative taco.

After listening to customers online who were requesting more vegan offerings, Ruiz and his partners began exploring other plant-based options. It was important to find a meat alternative that upheld its core values as a health-conscious, always-fresh taco establishment. For Ruiz, Impossible meat was the standard-bearer and embodied his own philosophy to create dishes that no one else can mimic. 

“Impossible is the first product out there that’s challenging other [plant-based meat] companies to be better and make something greater,” he said. 

Accompanying the Impossible Taco is a refined Chicas hot sauce made in-house that has the tang of a familiar "taco sauce" that you may have grown up eating if you ate this kind of tacos in fast-food restaurants. It’s befitting the American crunchy taco that Ruiz and team have created. In the spirit of the pocho, Mexican-American style, its drizzled liberally over the shredded cheese, lettuce, and radish before you go in for the first crunch. 

A sneak peek of Chicas Tacos' Impossible Foods nachos

The Chicas Impossible Taco is both a crowd-pleaser and a symbol of the future of Alta California cuisine. It has kicked down a door for street-level taquerias to experiment with a new item amidst a flourishing plant-based movement in Los Angeles. Ruiz believes that this is an opportunity for vegans to fall in love with modern Mexican cooking. 

“For us, if we are going to have something vegan on the menu then let’s give them the attention that we would give non-vegans,” he said. 

Still, independent food vendors who are creating dishes with the plant-based meat are somewhat bound to Impossible Foods’ production timeline. After serving 1,200 Impossible tacos at Taqueando, the Chicas team had to wait for a restock of the meat alternative supply before they could launch to the public with the taco. Chicas has firm next steps to meet the demand. In fact, Ruiz and team already have plans to roll out with other Impossible offerings, such as nachos, in their Culver City location, opening in October with a full kitchen. 

Impossible Tacos

Chicas Tacos has further defined its “Chica style” with this expansion of its plant-based offerings. Witness to the changing conversations around a vegan diet, Ruiz is proud of the time and patience it took to carve out Chicas’ specialty. 

By the end of your meal, you’ll find yourself picking up and savoring the morsels of Impossible meat that fell onto your plate with your fingertips. But don’t wait until the taco stand’s neon lights flicker on: Chicas is serving the taco starting at 11 AM every day (12 PM Sunday) until supplies last.

Chef Eddie Ruiz (wearing baseball cap) talks about his new vegan tacos at Chicas Tacos

“There’s nobody who travels to Mexico and eats more tacos than me. My life is tacos,” affirmed Ruiz, blowing wide open the plant-based possibilities of what he will continue to bring to the Alta cuisine. 

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