CHEFS AND RESTAURATEURS

Josh Gil, Daniel Snukal | Tacos Punta Cabras

Santa Monica may not be the first place that you think of when you crave Mexican food, but that is slowly changing thanks to efforts of places like Tacos Punta Cabras. Started by Westside residents Josh Gill and Daniel Snukal in 2013, who just recognized the need for serious Mexican food in the Westside and decided to take the matter into their own hands and open up a tiny taqueria in one of Santa Monica's busiest intersections.  

Don't let the simple three-item-menu fool you, the tacos, tostada and cócteles being served here is some of the most under-rated and under-appreciated Mexican seafood being served in all of Los Angeles, until now.

Their success starts with the staples, like with their white-corn handmade tortillas that are taken up a notch by being seasoned with a little citrus zest and spices. Or their unique Vietnamese fish sauce-spiked coctél mixto (with plenty of chopped shrimp, scallops and buttery avocado). Yup, you've probably guessed by now that chef Josh used to work in fine dining before, having worked at places like Ludobites and Urasawa and leading the Supper Liberation Front, a cult-favorite underground dinner series.

But at the end of the day, it all comes down to the little things. Like making you feel at home with the laidback hip hop and punk rock being played through their speakers and them going the extra-mile by using buttery-soft alkaline water for cooking and making their thick, full-flavored aguas frescas. Just make sure to remember all of this as you circle around the block anxiously looking for parking, we assure you that it will be all worth it. Oh yeah, and don't sleep on taking home a dozen of their handmade tortillas, because they are some of the best tortillas being produced in Los Angeles at the moment.