On May 27, 1918, in Chihuahua, Mexico, Esther Hernandez was born. the oldest of three daughters to Pedro and Amelia Hernandez. In 1923 the Hernandez family decided it was time to make a better life for themselves and moved to America, the land of opp … show more
On May 27, 1918, in Chihuahua, Mexico, Esther Hernandez was born. the oldest of three daughters to Pedro and Amelia Hernandez. In 1923 the Hernandez family decided it was time to make a better life for themselves and moved to America, the land of opportunity. They migrated throughout the South as Mr. Hernandez was a crop picker. They settled in Colorado for three years and then moved to Los Angeles, California where the Latino community was much larger.
Esther then found the man of her dreams, Manuel Gonzalez Santana. the two fell in love and were married on April 29, 1939. They began a wonderful life together and had four beautiful daughters, Mary Lou,Gloria, Yolanda, and Linda.
Manuel was an upholster and hid job transferred him to Long Beach. The family moved to Downey in 1954. this is when Esther had a dream, a dream of opening a "taco house." She loved to cook, and was always told she had tasty recipes. In 1957, Ether and her mother, Amelia, opened the first Taco house in Downey, California. At this time it was strictly take-out food with one table to sit and wait for your tacos. Beverly Grisham has the honor of being Esther's first customer. She still comes to Esther's after 50 years.
All the customers wanted to sit and eat their food, so when the shoe repair shop next door went out of business, Esther expanded her restaurant to add a dining room. Customer's and friends would refer to the taco House as "Esther's" and that's how the name got started.
The second Esther's opened up in Long Beach during the summer of 1972. This restaurant had a full bar (cantina) and dancing on the weekends. It was the place to go. After the death of Esther's Husband Manuel, Esther sold the Long Beach store. It was too much for her to handle by herself, even with the help of her daughters who all worked at the Taco House at one time or another. They were a closely knit family.
In 1957 Linda went back to help her mother run the restaurant, and in 1987, as a teenager...
Esther's Tacos are the best tacos around. They are filled with lots of carnitas, chicken, shredded beef, or whatever you ask for. The other fillings are also tasty and fresh (cilantro, onions, lettuce and cheese).