Loqui brings taqueria-inspired cuisine to Playa Vista

By Kamala Kirk

Loqui serves honest Mexican food inspired by the flavor and soul of favorite taquerias throughout Mexico.

Founded by longtime friends Ari Ampudia and Cameron Wallace, Loqui originated in 2013 as a weekly pop-up at Tartine Bakery in San Francisco.

The team spent three years preparing recipes that brought unique Mexican tastes to life before relocating to Los Angeles in 2016 to establish its roots and open its first brick-and-mortar location in Culver City.

For the past five years, Loqui has expanded its footprint across Southern California, opening a second location in DTLA’s Arts District in 2019 followed by Playa Vista in 2021. It is located at Free Market Playa Vista, an open-air retail collective that houses experiential boutiques, restaurants and event spaces at Runway Playa Vista.

Loqui’s Playa Vista location features an open-flow concept that reflects the taqueria’s Mexican heritage. It is accented by plants and pots mixed with textures, organic materials and terra cotta tones. Diners are greeted by an eye-catching floor-to-ceiling mural and can enjoy their meals and Mexican craft beers on a spacious outdoor patio that has ample seating and is shaded by a large overhang.

“Loqui is a taqueria serving honest Mexican food on signature scratch-made flour tortillas,” Ampudia says. “Loqui offers a casual approach to tacos embodying the charm and flavors of some of Mexico’s favorite taco stands.”

Loqui takes a casual approach to tacos that brings Mexican tastes to life. The fresh tortillas are highlighted by four proteins: chicken, beef, pork and mushroom.

“Our signature dish would undoubtedly be our chicken taco on scratch-made flour tortillas,” Ampudia says. “The achiote chicken is topped with pickled purple onions and a smokey habanero salsa.”

Another favorite, the cochinita pibil is presented two ways — and homage to its Yucatan heritage; the beef hints to the similarities of birria while the mushrooms are a recipe created from scratch. Available sides include chips with guacamole and salsa, quesadillas, and rice and beans.

In addition to the regular menu items, Loqui offers a family meal that is available for delivery and to-go through its website. Their family meal taco kit is a great way to enjoy creating tacos at home and each kit comes with all of the ingredients and detailed assembly instructions.

Loqui can also cater special events and celebrations and offer an assortment of taco packages, as well as taco and plate packages.

“We are thrilled to join the Free Market family and introduce Loqui to our new Playa Vista neighbors,” Ampudia says.

“Whether you dine with us on our patio or pick up a family meal to go, we hope to inspire the connection between familial culture and Mexican food.”