LOS ANGELES — Chef Wes Avila, known for DTLA staple Guerrilla Tacos, left to open his passion project Angry Egret Dinette. This Chinatown take-out window allows him to innovate and experiment, while cooking hands-on every day.
But, Avila still offers the food that gave him his claim to fame: tacos.
“A lot of people were asking for it. They were like, 'Chef, we want your tacos.' So, I had to oblige,” Avila said.
Avila has French training and has worked all over the world. While he still owns Guerilla Tacos, he took a step back to focus on other ventures and be more hands-on in the kitchen.
“When I left Guerrilla Tacos, I left, because I was burnt out," Avila said. "But, about a month later after being at home during COVID, I was like, 'Ah. I think I’m ready to go back to work.'"
While you'll find his name attached to other businesses in Hollywood and Japan, Avila spends every day at Angry Egret.
“This is where I get to experiment and enjoy what we do. See what happens on a day to day basis,” Avila added.
The dinette started as a takeout window pop-up but Avila expanded into brunch and dinner as well.
“This is kind of like that first year where there are no rules, it’s just like let’s cook delicious food," Avila said. "I don’t have to run it by a bunch of other eyes. It’s like, 'this sounds good, let’s do it.' It’s how we roll here.”
Angry Egret is an interesting name, but it is actually an ode to LA since there are a lot of the birds found around the river and it became an inside joke between Avila and his wife.
“We saw an egret fighting with another egret for a piece of fish," Avila explained. "I was like, 'That’s a great name.' So that’s where we got the name from, it is very much inspired from Los Angeles.”
While the name honors LA, he honors his family through serving tamales during the holiday season. It's a tradition he wants to keep.
“My mom was born here, but of Mexican descent. My dad is straight up from Mexico, so they all made tamales and it’s something I always wanted to offer,” Avila said.
Tamales are only available for a limited time, but a constant on the menu are the tortas and unexpected versions of the classic as well. Like an Italian torta with fried squash blossom, ricotta spread, chives, lemon topped with a salsa to give it that Mexican kick.
“It’s an elevated torta, but at the same time we aren’t trying to break the bank if people want to have a simple lunch here,” Avila said.
They have some traditional options too, but something new could be on the menu every day.
“This is definitely not in a normal torta realm,” Avila said.
Sample unique and exciting dishes straight from the hands of Chef Wes Avila at the Angry Egret Dinette located at 970 N Broadway Suite 114. Los Angeles, CA 90012.