First Look: Takito Kitchen
What can the two-week old Takito Kichen in Wicker Park hope to do with tacos in a neighborhood already stuffed full of them? I mean, this is the neighborhood with not one, but two exceptional chef-driven taquerias (Big Star and Antique Taco) not to mention some of the best affordable options in the city (Tierra Caliente and Carnicerias Guanajuato). Is there room for more?
When it comes to whether there should ever be more taco options, the answer is basically always yes, especially when a chef as talented as David Dworshak is involved. The tacos manage to weave in between Antique Taco's inventive concepts and Big Star's mostly straightforward offerings. But he's taking inspiration from a range of places, from other Chicago Mexican restaurants to completely different cuisines.
And then there are the tortillas. Each taco is built on freshly prepared corn tortillas, made from a mix of fresh masa from EL Popocatepetl and locally made organic polenta from Three Sisters Garden. They are made by hand to order. "We have a lady who is on it all night, but we might need two for the weekends." Takito also produces several kinds of flavored tortillas, which are tailored to specific fillings, like hibiscus for the redfish and sesame for the pork belly.
The space is so long and narrow, there was no room for a typical bar. Instead, the bartenders "are literally out in the open," making the drinks in middle of the space. "It's very interactive."
I sat down with Dworshak to discuss what sets these tacos apart. Check it out by clicking on the slideshow.