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Jun 20, 2010 02:10 PM

Tacos German truck in OB is closing

Feh! It's my favorite eatery in all of OB. They claim the city is making them close; does anybody know anything about this or if we can avert it?

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  1. Did they tell you why the city's making them close? After all, they're parked on private property, not city property. I sure hope they can find a way around this.

    1. Thats really stupid! I just ate their on Wednesday its just as good as the rest. I hope they stay

      1. That's very disappointing to hear, a real set back for OB. I hope it's something small, permits etc, and fixable.

        1. Since OB is in the City of San Diego, that would mean it's SD not OB requesting the change. My guess is that it probably has something to do with the licensing of the truck, either a permit problem or a few health code violations, all of which are not difficult to fix, especially given their track record and experience with operating other trucks.

          Every since CalCode went into effect (7/1/2007) things have been really tight for vendors that operate outside of the 4 walls of a brick and mortar building.

          12 Replies
          1. re: DiningDiva

            I've noticed that most trucks have hand sanitizer bottles and someone is cleaning the shelf and surrounding area outside the truck, where you order, quite often. I hope they can stay.

            1. re: cstr

              It goes way deeper than a little hand sanitizer and clean up. The trucks have a whole list of regulations with which they have to comply. 8 chapters in CalCode are devoted to street food vendors.

              It could be something as simple as their permit to operate is expired, they failed to renew it in time and can't reopen until their permit is valid

            2. re: DiningDiva

              I spent some time today talking with the folks at the taco truck, the adjacent coffee place, and the flower shop. Apparently Mariscos' taco truck was doing such good business that competing restaurants along Newport and other streets complained to the city.

              Apparently, the taco truck, florist, coffee shop *and* Apple Tree all received a notice from the city about some zoning violations. They're all protesting. Nobody had a copy of the letter, so I couldn't see exactly what the zoning issues were. Perhaps the lot's only zoned for one business, but I'm just guessing.

              Since it's a zoning issue rather than a permit issue, it might be more difficult to fight.

              The folks at the taco truck might be moving to North Park, if OB doesn't work out.

              1. re: cubano

                I know one of the zoning restrictions is that food trucks are supposed to move every two hours. They also have to be within walking distance of a toilet and running water (for use by the employees of the truck) whenever they park, no matter the time of day.

                I have a friend who bought a used food service truck in March. He has been inspected approximately every 15 days since then and recently vented to me about the strict rules he has had to adhere to.

                1. re: Cathy

                  Do restaurants and small sandwich/taco shops get such scrutiny?

                  1. re: MrKrispy

                    I know the brick and mortars have to have a bathroom with running hot water and toilet for employees, not necessarily for the public.

                    I know B&Ms also have to have the doorways to accomodate the handicapped/wheelchairs. If those places do have a public/customer only bathroom, it has to accomodate handicapped. I am unsure if the handicapped stuff is a San Diego or federal law.

                    1. re: MrKrispy

                      Yes, all brick and mortar food facilities are inspected annually, and some more often. It is also true that some places fly under the radar for years because the Dept. of Environmental Health doesn't have enough inspectors to cover every location every year. Inspectors show up unannounced and go over the operation from wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling, front door-to-bathrooms. The more violations they find, the harder the look for more. Inspections rarely take less than 30 minutes and depending upon the condition of the place, can take up to 2 hours. If it's really bad, the inspector has the authority to close the facility on the spot.

                      In addition to the physcial condition of the facility, the owner/manager/person in charge, will have to show proof that each employee has a current food handlers card issued by the City/County of SD, and that the person in charge has current ServSafe certification.

                      All food operation in the State of CA fall under CalCode which are the public health and safety rules and regs for the State. They are extensive and detailed.

                  2. re: cubano

                    Hmm...I find it hard to believe that one little taco truck has seriously dented the business of all the restaurants along Newport, there are just too many of them. I suspect it was either 1 or 2 restaurants or some "concerned citizens" that complained and/or raised the issue of zoning. Seeing as how this is a beach community, it will probably be hard to fight.

                    Some one take Donna Frye some fish tacos and tell her a small operator in her district is being stomped on those pesky City rules and regulations and ask her to intercede

                    1. re: DiningDiva

                      I suspect the complainer is the restaurant right around the corner. I won't name names, but it rhymes with Mubway Mandwiches.

                      Kevin Faulconer is the council member for Ocean Beach. I don't know if he's a fan of fish tacos, but I'll write him a letter asking why he's allowing precious jobs to be lost in the Ocean Beach area by closing down established businesses in his district.

                      1. re: cubano

                        I think you're right about it being 1 restaurant, tho' my pick was the Greek Village on the corner ;-)

                        1. re: DiningDiva

                          Actually, the one I heard rhymes with Riko's, but I suppose in the end, it really doesn't matter. I would like to see a little more public flogging of wussy businesses who think a taco truck is driving them under, though. I just wrote Faulconer to see what the deal is ( and encourage you guys to do the same.

                          1. re: Manta raya

                            Thanks for the email address. I just wrote to Faulconer asking him to intercede on behalf of all San Diego foodies.

                  1. re: Beach Chick

                    Is this the one by Hodad's ?? As I wanted to try it out since the one on University changed owners.

                    Hey Beach Chick....... nice to see you...

                    Hodads Restaurant
                    5010 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107

                    1. re: palmtree38

                      Yes, this is the one near Hodad's. Mariscos Pescador in CV is outstanding and well worth the drive if you can swing it.

                      Hodads Restaurant
                      5010 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107