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Wes Barber, Jef Edwards and Chris Nguyen are the founders of Ration Food Lab, an incubator opportunity that has allowed fine-dining chefs to tackle projects in the takeout/street-eats landscape over the last six months. When the opportunity arrived for them to move into Stackt Market, the three knew this would be a pivotal activation space for their new taco concept.
Nguyen says, "This is our shot to refine the menu, develop our relationship with our customers, and see what kind of reception we get, now that we've added a Mexican option to our portfolio."
Ocaso Tacos (or Sunset Tacos) is an LA-inspired taco pop-up located in a vibrantly painted shipping container nestled between Momofuku and Joybird Fried Chicken, in the large front pavilion space at Stackt Market.
Chef Raul D'Souza, the mastermind behind Beverley Pasta Co., has concocted a dynamic taco menu with plenty of added flair. D'Souza says, "Those who are used to authentic tacos, will notice there is a little off-centred kick, and it's what sets our tacos apart from the rest."
Though the menu heavily features Mexican flavours, they have successfully incorporated a touch of Toronto's culture, making their products truly one-of-a-kind. Take the Taco de Ocaso; they are using traditional Hawaiian Kalua pork, which is marinated in the ground with coals, pineapple and acids to break down the protein structure. Topped with black beans, cabbage slaw, jalapeño hot sauce, charred pineapple salsa, cilantro and lime, D'Souza says, "You get the familiarity of the Mexican style pulled pork, with more acidity and subtle flavours thrown into the mix."
The classic Chicken Taco is a must-try, as well the Barbacoa Cauliflower, which has been Ocaso's sleeper hit and has had many taco-lovers coming back for more. On top of their already expansive menu, they are reserving a spot for their feature taco, which rotates once a week to shout out different flavours and cultures. So far, they have rolled out a Lobster Taco, with lobster leg meat, celery, mayo, brown butter and chives, and a Cajun Shrimp Taco, with perfectly cooked shrimp and mouthwatering southern-style seasonings.
On the side, you can dip some corn tortilla chips into a bowl of roasted house-made salsa, with tomato, jalapeño, onion and seasonings. Or, feel free to up the anti and opt-in for the Tuna Tartare, featuring fresh pineapple, jalapeño and avocado. To round out your Ocaso experience, be sure to cool off and sip on a traditional Jarritos Mexican soda, or feel free to order a refreshing Watermelon Margarita from one of the bar outposts located just steps away from the taco stand.
In order to best serve everyone, all of their tacos and sides are made without gluten -- in fact, the entire kitchen is gluten-free! They are also accommodating other dietary restrictions and intolerances, so be sure to mention anything you can't eat so that they can whip you up something special and delicious.
Ocaso Tacos is located in the Stackt Market Pavillion, at 28 Bathurst Street and is open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. If you want to stay in the Ration loop, follow their journey on Instagram for updates on new menu releases and other exciting food concepts coming soon.