Larchmont Avenue just got a gnarly new West Coast-style resident. If you’ve walked by recently, maybe you noticed a sandwich board with the colorful box letters “PTL” on it. PTL stands for Pequeña Taqueria Larchmont, modeled after the petite (that’s what pequeña means) taco joints found in Los Angeles.
An LA-style taqueria means graffiti and art in a bare-bones space, community tables, and hip-hop and R&B bumping over the speakers. It’s meant to be fast casual: Approach the counter, order, pay, and they’ll bring it to you.
At PTL, they tossed in some Mötley Crüe nuances, first noticeable as you enter through the Nikki Sixx stencil on the front door. The reason? PTL’s co-owner, Fabián Gallardo, is a huge fan of the band and wanted to bring some of that LA glam rock/metal vibe to the space.
For Gallardo, who was born and raised in León, Mexico, opening a taqueria didn’t come about right away. He left Mexico for Greenwich, then moved to New York City to study at The French Culinary Institute. After stints at Café Boulud, he opened Petty Cash Taqueria in LA with Walter Manzke, before ending up NYC as La Esquina’s culinary director.
“I chose Larchmont because my daughters to go school a block away, so I get to see them twice a day,” says Gallardo, who tries to foster a family vibe at PTL. “I want kids to be able to come after school, and for families to come in and not feel bad about paying $3-$4 for a taco.”
And that’s what the menu is: five tacos (carne asada, carnitas, chicken, sweet potato, and a daily special), chips and salsa/guac, street corn, a salad, quesadillas, and a bowl of deep-fried, non-greasy, crispy Brussels spouts with a luscious cauliflower cream that you won’t want to share. “It’s a taqueria, but it’s chef driven without $10 tacos. I call myself semi-authentic. I put pomegranate and butternut squash in a quesadilla. [There’s] pineapple pico de gallo. I have fun with specials.”
As for the tacos, you can crush one in two or three bites, but don’t skip the non-traditional sweet potato with toasted pumpkin seeds and salty, crumbled feta. Typically, PTL uses fresh blue corn tortillas from Yonkers’ La Milpa de Rosa, but you might encounter yellow ones if blue corn is in short supply.
Future PTL plans include a small tequila and mezcal list, a few frozen drinks, and special dinners with fine-dining chefs once per month. Oh, and they’re hoping to open more locations at some point, so stay tuned!
150 Larchmont Ave
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