A few weeks ago, I wrote to you about my love for Tako Cheena, and last Monday night I had the opportunity to go to an event celebrating its 2nd anniversary. Tako’s birthday party was hosted by its owners: business partners Pom Moongauklang and Edgardo Guzman; they know how to throw a party. There was no food from Tako Cheena on the party’s menu. Instead, Tako Cheena brought in food from local vendors, giving their competition a chance to show off. Food present was from Atilla’s Turkish Cuisine, Yummi Sandwiches, Pho 88, Tony’s Deli, Rice and Noodle Café, and Banana’s.
The folks at Tako Cheena really love their customers. My friends and I felt welcome, and felt almost like a part of the Tako Cheena family. Tako Cheena provided a keg, wine, and all the cuisine free of charge as a way to give back to their patrons. The food was very tasty; I’m not sure I’ve ever had such variety in one meal. The beer was light, but alas when I went for a refill the keg had been tragically over pumped and had more foam than Old Yeller’s mouth right before he gets shot.
I had the opportunity to speak with both Pom and Edgardo about how they started and their dreams for the future. The best friends’ mutual love of food was the catalyst for making Tako Cheena a reality, but it didn’t happen overnight. According to Pom, “We talked about it probably two years before we even opened.” When Tako Cheena opened, they sought to gain the confidence of the community. While some people in the community still haven’t heard about Tako Cheena, they are well on their way to their first goal. I haven’t met anyone who’s eaten at Tako and not been an instant fan.
When I inquired about what is next for Tako Cheena, I was thrilled to hear their plans for expanding their menu. According to the partners, we can look forward to more arrepas, wings, and various desserts! Adding beer, wine, sake, and agua frescas (Spanish for fresh waters-non-alcoholic beverages made with fruit and often flowers) to the menu at Tako Cheena is in the works as well.
While running two busy restaurants, Pom and Edgardo manage to keep their feet firmly planted on the ground and their minds on giving back to their community. Their gratitude toward the community was the inspiration for the anniversary which they plan on throwing annually. Each year the party will be bigger, maybe there will be two kegs next year! In another event focused on the community, Tako Cheena will be participating in the upcoming “Coming Out” Pride Parade event. They will have a shared float with Pom Pom’s on October 5.