täkō, Japanese for octopus, is the name of downtown’s newest culinary venture: a two story Mexican/Japanese taco joint that opened their doors on 214 Sixth street earlier this year.
But this isn’t just another fusion restaurant. Richard DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik’s, the visionaries behind Meat & Potatoes and Butcher and the Rye, partnered up with Chef Dave Racicot to create this unique take on the traditional taqueria.
While you can find old favorites like carnitas and al pastor, täkō is serving up a slew of non traditional tacos that have been inspired by the restaurant’s fusing of different cultural cuisines. The most popular of which is the restaurant’s namesake. The täkō taco consists of grilled octopus, harissa aioli, preserved lemons, mizuna and pickled red onions all wrapped up in a flour and lard tortilla. If you weren’t a fan of octopus before, you will be after eating this.
Sevdik along with Racicot, formerly of Notion in East Liberty, have been running the kitchen at täkō and consistently working to improve the already stellar menu. Upon opening, the restaurant included a number of items that, while delicious, were taking away from the restaurant’s vision. täkō has since simplified its menu to just include Starters, Tacos, and an impressive spread of cocktails, beer and wine.
Spencer Warren and Maggie Meskey collaborated to create an elevated cocktail menu that includes distinctive beverages like the Aloe & Elderflower as well as the Oaxaca Old Fashioned.
And if the food and drinks don’t grab you, the eclectic decor and setup of täkō will. Bike chain chandeliers, a reproduction of Warhol’s last supper paired with an open kitchen and romantic lighting give this restaurant an ambience intense enough to match their inspired approach to food.