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Teddy’s Red Tacos Opens in Venice, Bringing Tijuana-Style Birria to the Westside

3:39 PM PST on January 28, 2019

Photo by Javier Vasquez

[dropcap size=big]H[/dropcap]e started selling birria from the back of trunk, now he's here. Teddy Vasquez took the next steps in what he says will be his "red taco empire" this weekend, officially opening Teddy's Red Tacos Venice on a sunny Sunday afternoon along the Boardwalk.

Vasquez trained the Venice team in South Central in the original taco truck. The tortillas are from La Jolla Tortilleria in Vernon. The style is from Tijuana streets. And the Westside of Los Angeles just got its first taste of the inevitable invasion of beef birria tacos.

"I was there this morning and people were loving it," Vasquez told L.A. Taco on Monday. "It's a really tight-knit community."

Vasquez started Teddy's Red Tacos as a side hustle from the back of his gig driving Uber a little more than 18 months ago. He told L.A. Taco that he would keep the birria in his trunk and let the car get filled with a delicious aroma of roasted chiles and marinated chunks of slow-cooked beef.

“I would put it all in the trunk and let the car smell up like birria so that people would ask me what that smell was,” Vazquez said. “And then I would offer my taco services.”

One of his passenger's owned a club and gave Vasquez a spot outside to sell his birria only menu. This would eventually lead to the original Teddy's Red Tacos setting up inside a food truck on the train tracks in South Central, where Vasquez put up a bunch of  picnic tables, bumped corridos, and made some of the best birria tacos in Los Angeles.

[dropcap size=big]V[/dropcap]asquez has hardly stopped hustling since the Uber days. "When you have goals and you have been broke for so long, you just have to keep on going whenever you have an opportunity to do so," he explained. "I remember where I was two years ago."

Teddy's amassed a massive social media following and opened a second location and first brick and mortar restaurant in Pico Rivera back in September 2018. Now you can get their famous Deluxe Plate on the Westside, corridos and all.

"It's not just about me, anymore," Vasquez said. "Now I'm providing jobs for more people. So we have to keep moving forward with the thought of, 'If we can help this many people get work with three locations, imagine how many more we can help.' And we're just getting started."

Vasquez says he is "still behind everything." He still makes all the birria himself and transports it to his three locations. "I'm still the quality control."

But he credits his business partner, family, and staff for all the hard work. "We are all really a strong team, and my partner has a really strong vision as well."

Teddy's Red Tacos Venice is located at 46 Windward Ave, Venice Ca 90291. For other locations go here

RELATED: Birria in The Trunk ~ The Improbable Rise of Teddy’s Red Tacos

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