The grill is hot in the even hotter parking lot of Circus Liquor in North Hollywood. It belongs to Pablito’s Tacos.
Owner Danny Rodriguez isn’t a chef but over the years put in long hours, learning everything he could about cooking to open multiple taco stands and grow his business.
What You Need To Know
- Pablito’s Tacos is located in the Circus Liquor parking lot at 5600 Vineland Ave. in North Hollywood
- Owner Danny Rodriguez started Pablito's Pizza during the pandemic
- The pizzas are made fresh to order in a pizza oven right in the parking lot next to the grills and flattops for the other tacos and burritos
“If you want your vision to become a reality, you have to be involved in every aspect,” said Rodriguez, who still oversees everything to make sure he continues to serve quality products even in a tent.
Rodriguez first opened a sit-down Peruvian restaurant in Burbank years ago to honor his culture, but in 2018, it quickly transitioned into a modern, Mexican-Peruvian hybrid in tacos.
“I always wanted to develop and be the ambassador to more of a Peruvian presence in LA,” he siad.
This is when Pablito’s Taco stand was first formed, even expanding into five locations around the Valley due to its popularity. But the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down his growth.
In 2020, Rodriguez decided to shut down all of his taco spots except for the one at Circus Liquor due to the uncertainty. He quickly realized though that the street vendor scene was in fact growing.
“There were hundreds of stands around LA. I was like, ‘Man, people just love that feeling of being at a stand,’” said Rodriguez.
Instead of opening more, he added a new concept: pizza. Yes, Pablito’s Pizza was born out of the pandemic. Rodriguez got a crash course in Neapolitan cooking from a chef friend and blended his Peruvian staples into this new vessel, seen in the lomo saltado.
“I got rid of the rice and the French fries, put those carbs aside, and substitute it with pizza dough and cheese. Then pretty much the same steak, onions, tomatoes are marinated in those Asian flavors of soy sauce, oyster sauce, red wine vinegar, and lots of other secret ingredients,” said Rodriguez.
The pizza became a hit. They make them fresh to order in a pizza oven right in the parking lot next to the grills and flattops for the other tacos and burritos. People from all over the state come to try this unique street food, including a group from the Bay Area who had to stop on their way to Disney.
Rodriguez never expected his sit-down Peruvian restaurant would turn into this, but he thinks that his handmade tortillas, fresh meat options and even being a tent in a parking lot all led to the success.
“You’re right here face to face with making the tacos, with the grill man, with everything. You never plan for anything like this, but when it happens, you try to ride the wave and see how far you can take this,” said Rodriguez.
Let’s see how far he can take Pablito’s Tacos located in the Circus Liquor parking lot at 5600 Vineland Ave. in North Hollywood, Calif.