CRUjiente (CRU) Tacos, a modern taqueria with an inventive interpretation of street tacos, is set to open on Nov. 7 in Arcadia on 40th Street and Camelback Road. A bespoke concept by co-founders Jason Morris and Executive Chef Rich Hinojosa, CRU Tacos is a re-birth of Latin cuisine. The 85018-neighborhood taqueria and bar will marry Chef Hinojosa’s in-depth knowledge of Latin cuisine and Morris’ extensive beverage and business background from his wine distribution company.
“We’re excited to bring a changing euphoric taco experience that re-defines street tacos,” said partner and Executive Chef Rich Hinojosa. “Our tacos are for every palate, occasion and mood and your quest for the Valley’s most delectable tacos will end at CRUjiente Tacos.”
Most recently, Hinojosa was the executive chef of The Wigwam and his culinary ties to Arizona extend to his tenure at Mary Elaine’s at The Phoenician. CRUjiente Tacos is Chef Hinojosa’s first independently-owned restaurant where he will be expanding on his Arizona Taco Festival wins – marking the first venture outside the luxury hotel kitchen. CRUjiente Tacos’ full-service menu features “antojitos” including soulful guacamoles, aguachiles, ceviches, seasonal soups, salads, and a juxtaposition of crunchy and soft street tacos.
Creatively-articulated, each hand-held delicacy contains fresh, high-quality ingredients, bold flavors, and more style, texture and variety than traditional street tacos. The culinary techniques were acquired from Chef Hinojosa’s culinary stints and travels across the country’s top dining destinations in Hawaii, Texas, California and Colorado. CRUjiente Tacos’ menu contains two categories: “tacos crujientes” such as beef, pork and lamb and “tacos de la calle,” which are thoughtful renditions of classic Mexican street tacos including pork belly topped with kimchee, cilantro, and Sriracha aioli and duck with mole, sesame, peanuts, and tomatillo salsa. The passionately-created street taco menu extends to 36-hour beef short rib, lengua, chimichurri steak, Korean chicken, crispy crab, ahi poke, tempura avocado and taco de la semana – a rotating weekend taco with chef’s selection of ingredients.
Spanning from Southern-inspired classics to new-fashioned craft interpretations, the bar program’s line-up will be heavy in bourbon, tequila, mezcal and carefully-selected beer. Balancing the cuisine, a variety of spirits including bourbon, tequila, rum, gin, and vodka are infused into the signature cocktails such as “Don’t Drink and Thrive,” made with Tito’s Vodka, elderflower liquor, passion fruit syrup, lemon, cayenne, and strawberry and “Whiskey Mango Foxtrot” made with Maker’s Mark, house ginger syrup, mango-habanero shrub, and orange bitters. Above the bar, CRU Tacos has re-imagined bottle service with 14 private liquor lockers. Taking hospitality to another level, guests can purchase high-end spirit bottles that can be stored and savored for future visits and each exclusive liquor locker is available to rent.
The 2,100-square-foot space is under renovation with the design direction of Realm Architecture and Thrive Construction. The taqueria’s intimate space is designed to be masculine with sexy undertones found in the rustic brick walls, reclaimed dark wood accents, and Kelly green seating booths. The dim lighting provokes an ambient setting amongst the dark design elements. Hugo Medina’s signature street style artwork adds pops of color and warmth to the whimsical lighting fixtures in the bar area and wall murals on the bathroom ceilings.
Hours of CRUjiente Tacos are 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. from Monday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Friday, and 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Saturday, and closed on Sunday. CRUjiente Tacos is located at 3961 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix and can be reached at (602) 687-7777. Please visit, www.CRUTacos.com for more information.
For regular updates, please visit the following social media pages: