A bento box features chicken adobo and spicy tuna tacos at...

A bento box features chicken adobo and spicy tuna tacos at Takumi Taco at Delicacies Deli in Roslyn Credit: Newsday/Marie Elena Martinez

Having grown up in Roslyn and moved back after he started a family, it felt natural for Derek Kaye to consider opening a business there. With the Long Island expansion of NYC-based Japanese-Mexican concept Takumi Taco, he has taken the plunge.

Started as a stall in Williamsburg’s popular Smorgasburg open-air food market in 2012, Takumi Taco was embraced by the public and quickly expanded. 

Serving a mashup of Japanese inspired flavors in various taco vessels — crispy gyoza shells and corn tortillas, for example — Takumi Taco offers a selection of tacos (starting at $5) ranging from Japanese curry beef loaded with Napa cabbage slaw and Cotija cheese; chicken adobo with cilantro and onion; spicy tuna with jicama, avocado, cucumber, and radish; and a cauliflower al pastor. Not into tacos? There are bowls ($14.70, also available as a salad), as well as burritos, poke nachos ($16.53) with salmon or tuna sashimi, and sides including a charred corn salad and cucumber sesame salad. If you’re looking for a deal, try the bento box, which includes two tacos of your choice and one side for $13.78.

Having spent his career in food service, the idea for Takumi Taco hatched after Kaye opened a pizza truck with New Hyde Park’s Eddie’s Pizza in 2010 (for which he still owns the licensing). “Pizza trucks can only accommodate so many ovens,” Kaye explained. “I wanted a concept that could output more.”

An observer of the Asian-Mexican fusion concepts in Los Angeles at the time — “like Kogi BBQ” — Kaye started contemplating tacos and rice bowls as a next adventure. His uncle Michael Callahan was one of the owners of sushi spot Bond Street in New York City at the time, and soon enough Kaye and Callahan’s chef, Marc Spitzer, were discussing how “a lot of the dishes that were coming out of Bond Street would be great in a taco shell.” Shortly thereafter, Takumi Taco was born.

The new location is inside Delicacies Deli, in partnership with longtime deli owner Jimmy Zanfardino. Offering ample seating and a separate counter, Takumi is currently opening and closing daily with the deli, but plans to close later, add beer, wine and margaritas, and outdoor seating on the pond come spring.

Takumi Taco at Delicacies Deli, 1354 Old Northern Blvd., Roslyn, 516-484, 5070, takumitaco.com; Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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