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Team Ambar Aims to Transport Diners to Mexico at Its Three-Story Clarendon Restaurant

Tacos, Tortas and Tequila, and Buena Vida are scheduled to arrive this fall

The first-floor space at Ivan Iricanin’s forthcoming Arlington restaurant will house Tacos, Tortas and Tequila.
Street Guys Hospitality [Official rendering]
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

The now three-part Mexican eatery restaurateur Ivan Iricanin has in mind for Arlington, Virginia includes a rooftop beer garden currently scheduled to arrive in 2019.

Iricanin, the founder of Balkan restaurants both here (Ambar, Baba) and abroad, just closed on a deal to take over the now-defunct La Tasca in Clarendon (2900 Wilson Boulevard) and replace it with the Mexican restaurants he’s developing in neighboring Silver Spring, Maryland. The inagural Tacos, Tortas and Tequila (TTT), and Buena Vida restaurants (8407 Ramsey Avenue) are projected to debut this May. That two-story venture marks Iricanin’s first crack at Mexican fare in the U.S. to date, though he previously dealt with the cuisine as a partner at Richard Sandoval’s Masa 14 and El Centro D.F.

The Clarendon sister spot is expected to look and feel much like the Silver Spring location on the first two floors. The biggest departure is a third-story rooftop beer garden called Up, which is slated to appear next year. Also up for 2019: the first Ambar in northwest D.C.

As is, the two-story La Tasca space can accommodate up to 290 guests. An Iricanin aide says the anticipated conversion and addition of a rooftop level will allow for even more drinkers. Design firm Hapstakdemetriou+ is charged with converting the Spanish-themed space into a tropical oasis.

Clarendon’s incoming Buena Vida will reside on the second floor of the former La Tasca space.
Street Guys Hospitality [Official rendering]

TTT, a casual and breezy downstairs spot, will operate all day with Mexican cocktails, La Colombe coffee, and a pickup window for late-night service. The upstairs Buena Vida space will be a little more refined, featuring small plates, a $35 all-you-can-eat option, and food inspired by different regions of Mexico.