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 agave-spirits bar called Mosto, MF Chicken, and Taco Lab, a spin-off of Tacolicious based in the beautiful Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende. For our philanthropic efforts, read all about the Tacolicious School Project.
After 15 years of managing FOH operations at key SF restaurants and opening his first restaurant Laïola, Joe decided to toss aside dining formalities (like forks) for margaritas and tacos. For T-lish, Joe is the big picture guy, from expansion plans to our culinary program. And yes, you're not seeing things—he's a very proud Dodgers fan.
Last meal on earth: Leg of lamb with tapenade, '99 Chave Hermitage, Marlboro Reds.
Pet peeve: LED light bulbs.
In his next life he’ll be: Clayton Kershaw.
Mike is known as being a man of few words and a lot of action. He 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 joining Tacolicious, Patrik was a Regional Director for Restaurants at True Food Kitchen. Prior to that he worked as the Director of Training for Fox Restaurant Concepts. Today, Patrik nerds out on operations and finds joy in putting the metaphorical salt shaker back into place.
Guilty pleasure: The Matt Cain from Ike's with mozzarella sticks and extra Godfather sauce.
Best taco memory: Taking my future wife to my favorite taco truck in South Stockton when we first started dating.
Secret skill: I play blackjack almost perfectly.
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.
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.
Raised in the hollers of the Ozark Mountains with intensive training in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy naturally led Korey to the restaurant world. After working in management for years, including at T-lish, he switched gears to take over human resources employing a lot of empathy, knowledge and GIFS.
Signature dish: Meatless loaf with red pepper coulis (yep, it's pretty 90's).
Skill you have that no one knows about: Etymology nerd.
Place you want to travel: Sicily.
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.