Credit: Ali Epple | Mustang News

California fusion-style Mexican-restaurant Taco Temple just opened their second location in San Luis Obispo on Calle Joaquin Street May 1.

Taco Temple’s new location closely follows the opening of other Mexican-food restaurants in the San Luis Obispo area, including a second Taqueria Santa Cruz Express, San Luis Taqueria and Efren’s Mexican restaurant, but manager Patrick Lynch said Taco Temple stands out against the rest.

This local taco shop features what Lynch described as open face, knife and fork tacos, filled with locally-sourced ingredients.

“We are about big plates, and we are also about fresh product,” Lynch said. “Nothing is out of a can here except the basics. We buy product that is indigenous to the area, always fresh [and] always local when possible, including seafood and produce.”

Their opening has “exceeded expectations” according to Lynch, who noted that Taco Temple sold around 650 meals a day last weekend, with a wait from opening to 8:30 p.m.

“We had a lot of people coming from South County that were going all the way to the Morro Bay store and who would eat there once a month, because it was a day trip, and they’ve gotten really excited that they’re saving gas mileage and can participate in the Taco Temple experience more than once a month,” Lynch said.

Ali Epple | Mustang NewsAli Epple | Mustang News

Taco Temple moved from Cayucos to Morro Bay in 2015, when it was taken over by Jim Leage. Leage and Lynch have been friends since 1988 and have now teamed up to take on the San Luis Obispo county taco scene.

“We’ve been through thick and thin together and he’s provided me several opportunities, and this is one,” Lynch said.

Leage is still managing the Morro Bay Taco Temple but said he saw a need for a location in San Luis Obispo.

“This seemed like the perfect spot for us,” Leage said. “We bring fresh, authentic taste to the table, and I think people will see that.”

Lynch has 44 years of restaurant experience, which started at age 14 washing dishes. With the help of assistant managers Juli Foster and Jeremy Jackson, Lynch said this position is “his last campaign.”

The restaurant is complete with bright colors, local art, a designated takeout and dessert section for efficiency and an outdoor patio in the making.

“We are very eclectic,” Lynch said. “We are open to expressionism here.”

All recipes and menus remain consistent with the original location and are carried out by new head chef Peter Irwin. Irwin brings local culinary experience to the team with past employment at Big Sky Café, Giuseppe’s and The Dutchman in Morro Bay.

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