First Taste

Paz Cantina in Downtown Phoenix: Solid Tacos That Could Use a Little Heat

When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).

Restaurant: Paz Cantina Location: 1011 N. 3rd St. Open: One week Eats: Mexican Price: $10+ a person

When Joseph Aguayo opened Verde in 2010, he brought excellent, freshly made tortillas and affordable Mexican fare to the downtown dining scene. The restaurant, which was located in the 1930s building that's now home to Matt's Big Breakfast, unfortunately didn't last long, closing after just seven months. Perhaps Verde was ahead of its time. Or perhaps Aguayo and co-owner Matt Avilla simply spent too much money remodeling the building.

Either way, he's back -- and this time, he's got help.

At the new Paz Cantina, Aguayo has teamed up with Brian Webb (Hey, Joe!) and Michael Reyes (Pure Sushi, the Compound Grill, Otro Cafe) to deliver fresh tortillas and affordable Mexican fare to downtown once again.

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Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria