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Restaurant notes: Left Coast Taco, Wing Kings, City Fare Cafe

A San Diego native has opened a small taqueria to give East Aurora a taste of California.

Nathan Root and his wife Chelsea have opened Left Coast Taco at 630 Oakwood Ave., in the space formerly occupied by Pizza Del Aureo's, which has moved down the plaza.

The counter-service restaurant offers a tidy menu based around its marinated taco meats, plus a vegan option made out of braised tropical fruit. The Roots also run Roots Kitchen, which does the food for 42 North Brewing Company's tasting room.

Among its other items are Cali fries ($10) French fries topped with taco meat – the carne asada version is famous in San Diego – and rolled tacos, corn tortillas stuffed with shredded chicken, deep-fried and dressed with guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream and cheese ($6.50).

So far the rolled tacos are a best-seller, after the fish taco ($4.50), with beer-battered fish, cabbage, crema and chili-garlic hot sauce.

Tacos ($3.50) are filled with meats like carne asada (steak), citrus chicken, braised and chile-pineapple pork, tongue and shrimp. The vegan tacos are made from jackfruit, cooked until it's a pulled-pork-like texture, and seasoned like meat, but entirely vegetable. Customers can dress their tacos with green and red housemade salsa, onion and cilantro.

In a nod to local preferences, there's also a crispy corn shell filled with ground beef, sour cream and cheddar.

Tortas ($10), Mexican-style sandwiches, area also available, stuffed with choice of filling.

The restaurant has eight seats, but is mostly carry-out, Root said. There's no alcohol.

Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Closed Sunday, Monday. Phone: 805-7724.


Wings on Elmwood: A Hertel Avenue chicken wing specialist known for far-out flavors like cinnamon toast crunch is opening a second restaurant on Elmwood Avenue.

Wing Kings will open at 484 Elmwood Ave., which was last an Erbert & Gerbert's sandwich shop, and before that Bistro Europa.

Owner Jeremie Jones said he was aiming to open by the end of November.

Jones opened his first Wing Kings in fall 2016, at 1281 Hertel Ave. The restaurant's specialty is vivid and unusual wing preparations. There's standard Buffalo spinoffs like garlic parmesan, an Asian section including flavors like General Tso's, and unusual offerings like Old Bay and Jamaican jerk. The most unusual are the dessert wings, including Nutella and peanut butter and jelly.

Jones said the wing obsession came from a former Niagara Street restaurant called Buffalo Supper Club. "A lot of people take one of our flavors and combine them with another one, like honey mustard and Cajun," he said.

The Elmwood menu will mirror the Hertel one, except the Elmwood site may offer a veggie burger and perhaps a hummus platter. "There may be more flavors and lunch specials as well," he said.

Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily, later Friday and Saturday.


From Mothers to Main Street: Missy Conroy was already working at Mothers when Matt Conroy first came through the door.

They weren't the first couple to meet there, but they've been married 17 years now. Now they've opened their first restaurant together, and the former chef and server have created City Fare Café, at 483 Main St.

The former Christian Science reading room now serves up breakfast and lunch. "We love the space, and knew we wanted to do something during the day, flip our schedules around," Missy Conroy said.

Sandwiches, soup, chili, sure but a little nicer. A quick high-quality lunch is the aim, she said. "We're just doing things we'd like to eat," she said.

Hot sandwiches and creative healthy options are places the menu stands out, she said. The Hungry Hungry Hipster salad, with kale, apples, dates, figs and manchego cheese with maple-mustard vinaigrette ($8.50) is an example.

Or maybe a meat-eater and Chicago Italian beef fan would like to tuck into Da Coach, with sliced beef, giardiniera, roasted sweet peppers and jus on a Luigi's roll ($8.50).

Hours: 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Closed Sunday. Phone: 907-5600.


Genesee St. plan scrapped: Restaurateur Martin Danilowicz won't open a second place in downtown Buffalo as previously planned.

The ground floor space at 5-7 Genesee St. is awaiting a new suitor, owner Steve Carmina told the city Planning Board last week.

Carmina, an architect with Carmina Wood Morris, worked with developer Roget Trettel and others to rehabilitate the buildings, which face the Hyatt Regency Buffalo Hotel and Convention Center. Last year Carmina indicated the space would be occupied by a Danilowicz effort.

Danilowicz continues to operate Roost, his successful urban restaurant at 1502 Niagara St.

At Roost, a cosmopolitan West Side menu shines

Midtown Kitchen closes: Midtown Kitchen closed last week after owners decided to turn it into an event site.

The restaurant and nightclub opened at 451 Elmwood Ave. in May 2016.

"Starting on November 1, 2017, MTK Elmwood will be exclusively used as event space," said a note posted to its website. "Expect the same atmosphere but a brand new concept."

At Midtown Kitchen, a promising starter takes the field

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