Carmel Magazine

CM SP19 Web, 5-19

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C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 9 221 CULT TACO BRINGS HOUSE OF WORSHIP TO OLD MONTEREY Some claim eating tacos as their religion. Called Tacoism, each follower has their own house of worship. Enter Cult Taco, Monterey's newest taco tem- ple from the team behind Cultura comida y bebida. "Cult" is short for the Oaxacan-inspired restaurant in Carmel, but also describes a collec- tive obsession with Mexico's hand-held treasure. "Our philosophy, at its core, is very similar to Cultura, to respect the cuisine and culture of Mexico," says co-owner John Cox. But like Cultura, Cult Taco won't be branded with the word "authentic." "Both are unique to their locations and mere- ly inspired by our travels in Mexico," says Cox, who has eaten through Mexico countless times with co-owner Sarah Kabat-Marcy and Executive Chef Michelle Estigoy. So what makes Alvarado Street's newest eatery so cultish? "We want this to be somewhere that cele- brates taqueria culture yet pushes the envelope on what a modern taqueria looks like," says Cox, referring to a multi-wall mural by famous street artist Ricardo Angeles. A great taco begins with the tortilla, and Estigoy has been testing various heirloom masas. The menu is a combination of tried-and- true classics (tacos, tortas, ceviches, salsas), along with some new inspirations, such as Estigoy's Manager Kyle Odell, Executive Chef Michelle Estigoy and co-owner John Cox at Monterey's new Cult Taco. The group also launched Carmel's Cultura comida y bebida, inspired by Mexican food with modern and unique twists. Photo: Kelli Uldall

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