People + Stories

Sky’s Gourmet Tacos to Hit Ground Running

When some of us jolt awake in the middle of the night, chances are, we’d been dreaming about missing a test or snoozing above an active fault line.

When Barbara “Sky” Burrell sprang upright, heart racing, back in 1992, she had one thing on her mind: Tacos!

Thus was born Sky’s Gourmet Tacos, which Burrell and her legions of fans call “Mexican, with a splash of soul.” Or, what Jonathan Gold, the legendary Los Angeles Times restaurant critic dubbed after consuming one blissful bite after another, “soulful as hell.”


“Mexican, with
a splash of soul.”

The 29-year journey from “Tacos!” to a 3,800 square foot lounge, dining room and marketplace in Hollywood Park wasn’t without its challenges. Hurdles were everywhere. Burrell and her original taco shop on Pico kept on going through the protests and riots in the wake of the acquittal of LAPD officers in the beating of Rodney King, followed by the Northridge earthquake, serious illness, and family tragedies.

Yet through it all, Burrell persevered, adding a second shop in Marina del Rey and continuing to wow crowds with a growing menu of tortillas cradling crawfish, carnitas, shrimp, lobster, filet mignon, wild rice and yams, and much more. Nachos? Check. Quesadillas? Yep. Tortas? Of course.

When the opportunity arose to open in Hollywood Park, Burrell recalls that she looked at her team, and said “we are going to just jump.’” And jump they have, planning a piano bar thisaway, a small market thataway (hello, take-home sauces, rubs and cheesecakes!).

According to Burrell, the essence of the new Sky’s is “good food, good music, and wonderful vibrations.”

Sounds perfect to us.

tacos with soul at

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