<b>FIRE, FIRE!</b> Anchor Woodfire Kitchen’s executive chef and owner, Jason Tuley (left), with his chef de cuisine, Charlie Fredericks.
Paul Wellman

Chef Jason Tuley is killing it. Already known for its outstanding ingredient- and technique-driven menu and stacked roster of talent in both the front and back of the house, the eight-month-old Anchor Woodfire Kitchen currently boasts the hottest tables in town. It’s a triumphant return for the S.B. local, who has done stints in L.A. and San Francisco and helmed the long-ago S.B. restaurant Square One. But Tuley has other tricks up his sleeve. Namely: tacos.

Yep, after multiple conversations over recent months, I can confidently report that Tuley is at least medium-obsessed with the humble street food. And, while he sorts out plans for a permanent concept on the taco tip, he’s getting into the Fiesta spirit, and turning Anchor into a Mexican pop-up restaurant called La Ancla this weekend.

But don’t let the “pop-up” label fool you: This concept has danced in Tuley’s head for years.

“As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to open a small taquería using locally sourced, farm-fresh ingredients,” said Tuley. “La Ancla was born even before Anchor was a reality, but had to be put on hold for a couple of years. The La Ancla menu has been written for over a year, and Fiesta seemed like the perfect time to introduce our customers to our approach to one of our favorite foods — tacos.”

I scored a sneak peek at the menu: It’s in no way limited to tacos and is clearly the product of mucho R&D. The guacamoles, ceviches, and tacos are listed along with the region of Mexico that lent the flavor inspiration but star plenty of area bounty, and — as one familiar with Tuley’s perspective might expect — shoot for that trademark balance of simplicity and sophistication.

Expect Fiesta-inspired tunes, beer and tequila tastings, and a cocktail special dubbed the Hot Tamale; the guys might even don sombreros (we’ll see about that… Anchor does traffic in a lot of open flame). And their new patio will offer plenty of al fresco space in which to get your viva on.


Check out Anchor’s taco-licious alter ego this Friday- Sunday, August 2-4,11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. daily.


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