Fervent taco fans have no doubt sought out El Paisa Mexican Grill, which has developed a following at its two popular taco shops/drive-thrus on 47th Street and Imperial Avenue. One of those frequent diners, who operated an outpost of Alberto's in Pacific Beach, approached El Paisa owner Cesar De Santiago with an opportunity to take over the building, so De Santiago is now remodeling the space for a new Tacos El Paisa that will be an evolution of their current concept.
He tells Eater that it will have seating for 46 inside and 17 outside, with an open kitchen and bar showcasing their freshly-made aguas frescas. Though the menu will be similar to their other locations, they'll be cooking much of the meat to order, from grilling up carne asada to shaving al pastor from a vertical spit to be tucked into homemade tortillas; on weekends, they'll set up a large grill outside to feed the beach community.
De Santiago says that they're planning to be open by the end of September and are working on obtaining beer and wine license. With the newly-tweaked concept, he hopes to open a fourth location within the next year, but will first tackle an upgrade to their 47th Street outpost. Jose-Carlos Bravo, a principal from Vanguard Resource Group who facilitated the lease said, "El Paisa Mexican Grill is a unique and very exciting addition to the food scene in Pacific Beach and the location could not be any better: a drive-thru within a block from the main beach. Combining the cuisine of a traditional Mexican restaurant in California and an authentic Mexican taqueria, the food (and not to mention their aguas frescas) is superior to the majority of Mexican restaurants in San Diego; it should fit in nicely with locals and tourists alike."