Where Locals Go

So-Cal Tacos

Review by Frank Geslani | Photos by Lorraine Haan-Stewart

I remember my first encounter with the So-Cal Taco truck. Woody (the truck) was parked outside of a Walgreens store in Watauga. It was hard to miss the faux wood paneling and the surf board with the menu tacked on. Woody was easily the most distinctive truck in DFWテ「冱 nascent mobile dining scene.

The eats were memorable, but the thing I remember most about that night was Scott Wooley, the man behind Woody. He introduced himself with a handshake and handed me a business card. I have no illusions about my renown as a food writer, so Iテ「冦 fairly certain he wasnテ「冲 angling for some press or that he even knew who I was. Wooleyテ「冱 just that kind of guy. He puts himself (and his business) out there.

The line was modest that night, but lines were exponentially longer each time Iテ「囘 see Woody at stops in Colleyville and Grapevine. Wooley is a social media beast and he converted curiosity seekers into a rabid fan base in no time.

Now that So-Cal Tacos has gone brick and mortarテ「背ith its first of many planned locations in Grapevineテ「杯hat fan base hasnテ「冲 let Wooley down. They still line up for deceptively straightforward eats. What the tacos, burritos and other casual fare lack in flash and novelty, they more than make up with bold flavors and straight up swagger. Chicken tacos tend to be the Rodney Dangerfield of the taco world. They get no respect, mostly because theyテ「决e bland and uninspired. At So-Cal, theyテ「决e my favorite. Their Del Mar has a slow roasted depth of flavor, punched up with spices, and as my wife puts it, doesnテ「冲 taste like old chicken. Iテ「冦 a fan of the Newport, too. The steak chunks get a pleasant sear and some caramelization. Itテ「冱 well-seasoned, but uncomplicated, all the better for piling on garnishes like pico de gallo and smoky salsa.

The biggest difference between the food truck and the restaurant is the all-day breakfast menu. This is a godsend for egg nuts like me who never understood why eggs should be relegated to one meal a day. They have the standard egg and breakfast meat mash ups, but the potato and egg is my favorite.

These guys have serious fryer game. Their tortilla chips are impossibly crisp. They also fry up a mean dessert (the only one for now), sopapilla fries which are highly addictive. Watch yourself around these.

The one thing thatテ「冱 stayed refreshingly the same is the vibe. It still feels like a kick back parking lot party, but with A/C and lots of seating. And the personal touch remains. Wooley is still a big presence at the restaurant. He still answers the phones, especially if youテ「况e got a catering order. Side note: We recently catered our daughterテ「冱 birthday party with a taco spread from So-Cal and it was an unqualified hit. These guys were totally clutch, putting together a feast on relatively short notice. No one left hungry.

Wooley still has some of that Left Coast chillaxness about him, and itテ「冱 rubbed off on his team. For a fast-casual restaurant with counter service, the staff is attentive and has an easy camaraderie with seated diners. They seem to take their テ「徃ive love, receive love, repeat the processテ「 mantra to heart.

As for Woody (the truck), heテ「冱 like the elder statesman working the lecture circuit. He gets around, but mostly at private catering events and special engagements. True to its roving roots, So-Cal Tacos (the restaurant) really feels like itテ「冱 going places.

So-Cal Tacosテつ |テつ 2140 Hall Johnson Roadテつ |テつ Suite 118テつ |テつ Grapevine 76051テつ
(682) 223-1316テつ |テつ www.eatsocaltacos.com