Danny Trejo opens new restaurant locations in Banc of California Stadium and Santa Monica
By Annika Tomlin
Danny Trejo is well known as an actor, but quickly he is gaining notoriety for collaboration with producer Ash Shah — Trejo’s Tacos.
“I was on set with Danny seven or eight years ago (filming ‘Bad Ass’) and we were talking about food and the idea came up of opening a Mexican restaurant,” Shah said. “We kicked it around for a year and a half after that. We finally opened up our first one in March 2016, which was Trejo’s Tacos.”
Serving 11 types of tacos, 12 kinds of burritos and various other Mexican-style meals ranging from steak asada bowls to mushroom asada burritos, Trejo’s Tacos has a variety of food for any dietary preference.
The chain has grown to eight dine-in and takeout locations, including in Hollywood, La Brea, the Los Angeles Farmers Market, as well as ghost kitchens in the Westside, Pasadena, Miami and Chicago.
“We just opened (a new Trejo’s Tacos) in Santa Monica (on May 6),” Shah said. “That’s our newest location right by the Third Street Promenade.”
Shah and Trejo are looking to open a location in the states that surround California. On April 17, the smallest location opened in the southeast corner of Banc of California Stadium, just in time for LAFC’s home opener against Austin FC.
Early last year, Shah and Trejo’s publicist, Larry Fink, approached the duo about opening a location within the stadium.
“Danny is a big fan of LAFC, and I think (the staff of Banc of California Stadium) wanted to bring in some local brands into the stadium,” Shah said. “I didn’t even know there was an available space. “That was last year before the pandemic and then because of the pandemic everything shut down. This (location) would have been open last year had it not been for the pandemic.”
The venue location’s food and drink include chicken and steak tacos, chips salsa or guacamole, beer and margaritas.
“Because of the nature of the stadium and how the games run, it’s a very small menu,” Shah said.
“We really only have an hour before the game starts to serve the fans and then 15 minutes at half time. Everything is only like a four-item menu and it’s pretty divine to feed as many people as we possibly can quickly.”
Shah said that the “No. 1 seller probably by a longshot” is the steak asada taco served with verde slaw, citrus marinade and pepita pesto. Rounding out the top three are the chicken tacos served with achiote, verde slaw and pico de gallo along with the steak asada burrito with citrus marinated steak asada, farmers market beans, Spanish rice, cheese, pico de gallo and pepita pesto.
“My favorite part of being in this business is kind of growing the business,” Shah said. “I had no experience owning or operating a restaurant, so it was kind of fun learning and then growing the restaurants, but also growing the product side of the business as well.”
Shah and Trejo expanded into the breakfast business with Trejo’s Coffee and Donuts in Los Angeles off of Santa Monica Boulevard and recently released their new Trejo’s Coffee Nitro Cold Brew.