Can you believe that on August 4th it was 15 years ago that we opened the first California Tortilla? I can’t even tell you how much fun it’s been. And while we’ve been unbelievably happy with how it’s turned out, we often ask ourselves what we’d do differently if we had to do it over again. So after much thought and consideration, here are just a few of the things we might have done differently:

  • We would have opened a puppy store. People rarely return their puppy because it has sour cream in it.
  • Instead of California Tortilla, we would have called ourselves California Tortoise; slow service would be prized and we’d get to wear turtle costumes.
  • We would have greatly increased our cupcake offerings. Who knew?
  • We would have opened a business without employees. They’re expensive. And sassy. (“Yes, I am the boss of you.”)
  • We would have worked much harder on our dance moves.
  • Alan (the guy on the cup with me) and I would have gotten married. You have no idea how disappointed people are when they find out we’re just friends. (My grandmother still doesn’t know. Partly because she’s been dead 20 years.)
  • We would have put less emphasis on making burritos and more emphasis on giving pony rides. Who doesn’t like a pony ride?

So there you have it, folks. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making it a fabulous 15 years


All across the country restaurants are partnering with Share Our Strength to help end childhood hunger by 2015 and we’re absolutely thrilled to do anything we can to help achieve this goal.

With that said, if you go to California Tortilla between Monday, September 20th and Saturday, September 25th and purchase a swanky Cal Tort tshirt with the design below (chosen overwhelmingly by you—good job!) for only $5*, we’ll give you a FREE taco coupon that’s good on your next visit.

But even better than that, all of the profits from your tshirt purchase will go to Share Our Strength, which will then distribute them to local hunger based organizations. Just think—the profits from your tshirt purchase will buy 3 meals a day for a child for 5 days. How great is that?

We hope to see you September 20th-25th! And as always, thanks so much in advance for your continued generosity—we can’t tell you how much we appreciate it. (If you’d like to know more about the Great American Dine Out, click here.)

*While supplies last.

As someone who loves the word “monkey,” I’m very excited to tell you that the FunkMnkyz are the winners of the California Tortilla Battle To Break Out contest. (I haven’t met them, but I’m so hoping they’re spunky funk monkeys.) As their prize, FunkMnkyz will be opening on the main stage at the WHFstival on Saturday, September 18th at Merriweather Post. (Click here to check them out.)

So congratulations FunkMnkyz—we’re very happy for you! (Look—I got to say some variation of monkey 5 times in two minutes. How happy am I?)

FROM THE “It only happens to me” FILES…

Last Friday, a perfectly beautiful day, my sons and I were in the house and my son Jack asks me to go out to the car to get his stick (note to self: buy children toys). I run out to the car, get his stick, and run back in. As soon as I sit down, the house starts shaking out of control. I run back outside (do you get the sense I do a lot of running?) and find that the world’s biggest tree has fallen on my car and completely demolished it. I’m not kidding. I was this close to be squashed. (The more times I tell this story, the closer I am to being squashed. I’m sure in a couple of months I’ll be telling people I was in the car and the tree grazed my head.) Anyway, it was really pretty scary. But do you want to know what the most upsetting thing about it was? I had JUST filled up the gas tank. Do you have any idea how annoyed I am by that?

On that misplaced priorities note, I hope you have a great (and safe!) Labor Day weekend…