Among old houses with faded walls and law firms in tiny houses, there lies paradise. On 7th street within Austin’s east side, the restaurant Takoba beckons customers with a large, bright sign featuring a turquoise Aztec bird in flight. Established in June 2010, amidst the three-year-long 7th street reconstruction, the restaurant was destined for a rocky beginning.
“The construction on 7th street was already happening—in a way, that was good for us, because if you open when the construction is already happening it doesn’t negatively impact our business because there was none before,” owner Jose De Loera said. “ Also, we were in a corner, which helped a lot with the construction by making us more accessible. Now the street is open and beautiful.”
Despite opening during 7th street construction chaos, Takoba opened to the World Cup Soccer games, which drew in a huge crowd.
In addition to a restaurant that showcases the Wold Cup, Takoba provides the East Side with Latino film screenings through Cine Las Americas. The relationship between Cine Las Americas and Takoba, De Loera explains, is his decade-long friendship with executive director of Cine Las Americas, Eugenio del Bosque.
“September 2010, we showed the first film for Mexican Independence day. You don’t find these kinds of things anymore. Other people do outside screenings, but I feel like there is always something missing,” De Loera said.
Currently, Takoba has been showcasing one film each month, but De Loera unveiled hopes to presenting a film a week.
For those who just want to dine, Takoba offers Central Mexican cuisine and a full bar. In fact, their michelada was voted “Best Michelada” by the Austin Chronicle’s food critic, Claudia Alarcon.
“We try to keep everything as fresh as we can. The most popular drink is the michelada. It is a little spicy in comparison to most mixes, and we have our own recipe,” De Loera said.
The space appears to be set into two sections, indoor dining with low lighting and a calm, ambient atmosphere up front and a bar towards the back. Near the spacious bar is a patio with several picnic tables. The colors throughout the restaurant are warm palettes of browns, blacks, and golds.
De Loera serves dishes such as Bistec Encebollado, Enchiladas de Pollo con Mole and Pozole Rojo, because to him, that’s home.
“My family is from Aguascalientes,” De Loera said. “But, there are other stuff on the money, for example, seafood. A lot of our food that is not from Central Mexico is more for the appeal—such as the seafood and some of the vegetarian options.”
For seafood, Takoba offers Tacos de Pescado (fish tacos), Pescado al Mojo de Ajo (sautéed tilapia) and Baja Ceviche (composed of shrimp, avocado, and lime juice).
From dinner, drinks and the occasional game or movie, Takoba provides all this with class and sophistication. To view their menu and events calendar, visit www.takobarestaurant.com.
Austin Comida is a new feature series on Austin Vida that spotlights Austin’s local restaurant scene. Be sure to follow Austin Vida on Facebook and Twitter to see which restaurant we spotlight next. All photos by Mari Hernandez.