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Puesto Debuts Downtown Stunner in The Headquarters

by Candice Woo  Nov 19, 2013, 2:15am PST

Puesto's popular eatery in La Jolla is driven by a made-to-order taco line. Next door, they plan to open a new bar/lounge early next year; this 4,500-square-foot restaurant in The Headquarters is a vibrant mix of the two.

A fresh tortilla station anchors a quick-service taco counter, with indoor and outdoor help-yourself casual seating. The central bar, with a new cocktail program created by the Queen-Connor-Ward Collective, also features craft beer and wine from the Valle de Guadalupe; perched above the bar on the mezzanine is a dining balcony.

Two lounge areas transition into the main dining room, with table service and an expanded menu. Tacos are still the focus and can be ordered in multiples for sharing; to their signature line-up, they've added new taco varieties, including a crispy Baja fish, filet mignon and a white mole-topped halibut. Also new are starters, from mini octopus tostadas to ceviche and soups, plus chicken, beef and shrimp casuelas for make-your-own taco meals. For dessert, there's a sweet pineapple tamale and a dish made in collaboration with Donut Bar, whose crispy donut-shaped bunuelos sandwich vanilla ice cream and come glazed in chocolate with a hint of coconut.