Putting the ‘Oh!’ into tacos

Morgan Hill Taqueria adds to growing list of restaurants

SPICY DISH The latest downtown destination in Morgan Hill, Taco-Oh! promises the best venue for your next taco night. Photo: Jenny Arbizu

Molly Adams knows a thing or two about owning a restaurant. For instance, her latest—Morgan Hill’s Tac-oh!—isn’t her first rodeo.

Nor her first Tac-oh!.

The second installment of the Mexican comfort food chain, Tac-oh!, opened its doors in downtown Morgan Hill on Jan. 8 to eager locals. Adams says the long-running construction on the site created the increased anticipation.

“It’s part of the reason why I opened quietly,” says Molly. “We wanted to do it right, and it takes the staff time to acclimate.”

It’s something Molly and her husband, Marcus, have previously learned in their other business ventures. The couple already owns Morgan Hill’s Willard Hicks, as well as the upcoming—and neighboring—Mo’s and Opa!, all located on the corner of Monterey and Third streets in Morgan Hill. The four eateries derive from originals in the San Jose area.

Bringing the restaurants to downtown Morgan Hill was an easy decision, says Molly. “The cool thing is the downtown is becoming a destination. Once all of the places are open, it’ll gonna be awesome. It’s just a downtown destination; somewhere to go, something to do.”

Marcus and Molly began their journey in the restaurant business nine years ago, when they joined a partnership as owners of Opa! in Willow Glen. The Greek cuisine restaurant was eventually converted into the first Tac-oh! location in 2016. That original Tac-oh! was then relocated last year to the same building as Marcus’s nightclub, Avery, in downtown San Jose.

Avery “is really more my husband’s business and focus,” Molly says. “I do the rest of this crazy stuff.”

Molly is proud of her four restaurant brands being woman-owned businesses, calling it “pretty cool.”

“More than 50 percent of our management staff are also women, which is something else I’m pretty proud of, because in the restaurant industry that is absolutely not the norm,” she says.

As owner, Molly demands quality in the food her restaurants prepare, which is all fresh and made in-house, with the exception of the tortillas, which are brought in fresh daily.

“We just pride ourselves on ‘nothing comes out of a bag,’” Molly says. “The recipes are ours, or those of our folks in the kitchen.”

Molly is particularly proud of the Morgan Hill Tac-oh!. “We revamped the menu a little bit, which we will do in San Jose, too,” she says. “We have bright, fresh, fun flavors, with a little bit of a twist.”

Customers will find a variety of Mexican dishes, as well as ingredients; both meat and vegetarian choices are available. According to Tony Hubbard, who has worked for the chain since 2016, there isn’t a miss with any item.

“The Armada Asada Tac-oh is my favorite,” Hubbard says. “I’ve been eating it every day, sometimes twice a day. I haven’t had a single bite of bad meat once.”

Hubbard also raves about the El Chapo Tac-oh, made with braised short ribs; the Cajun Shrimp Tac-oh ( “Smoky is the best way to describe the marinade,” he says); and the Crunchy Avocado Tac-oh, which he claims is a winner with even meat-eaters.

“If you like texture, it’s a tempura-battered, deep-fried avocado—as the meat of the taco,” Hubbard says. “I had a guy who was a devout meat-eater try it, and he gave me a hug after dinner. It’s that good.”

The menu also includes a variety of appetizers, tostadas, quesadillas and a selection of Burrit-ohs!. The bar serves a vast selection of tequila, original cocktails, and beer and wine. A kids menu is also offered, as well as a brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

Customers seem to be enjoying sampling the menu. The Tate family of Morgan Hill tried different selections during the restaurant’s opening weekend. “Everybody liked it,” says the family’s matriarch of the restaurant. “We’ll be back.”

If its opening weekend is any indicator, other locals will be coming back as well.

Ante Marcelic, the restaurants’ operations manager, was at the Morgan Hill Tac-oh! every night its first week. “There are lot of good vibes down here,” he says. “People have been real receptive. I’m ecstatic, excited.”

And though its first Friday night was standing-room-only at times, Molly says outdoor patio seating will relieve that problem. “We should have it actually next week,” she assures. “Since Willard Hicks is a dinner house, we’ll share that space. It’ll work out fine.”

Tac-oh! is located at 17270 Monterey Road in Morgan Hill. Hours are Mon-Fri, 11am-9pm, Saturdays, 10am-9pm, and Sundays, 10am-8pm. Brunch is available on weekends. For more information, visit tac-oh.com or call 408.883.8933.

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