The location: Hangin' Taco.

Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. A small, outdoor Mexican cafe.

Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. Probably on the Balboa Pier, in Newport Beach.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 6 (of season one), "The Girlfriend", where Seth tries to warm up to a still-reluctant Summer, back in the early days of their relationship. (It's the scene where they are at a salsa cart and she makes him lick picante salsa off her finger.)

    We didn't see it again until the third season, in the Episode 23, "The Party Favor", where it reappears in a night time scene where Seth is bemoaning (to Ryan) the fact that Summer won't go to the senior prom with him because she still thinks he's cheating on her with Anna. But this time we see the take-out window and we see the name of the cafe.

    Signs visible on both the salsa cart and the take-out window identify it as "Hangin' Taco" (a bad pun on the surfing term, "Hangin' Ten" - if you freeze-frame it and look really close, there's a goofy logo of a guy in a sombrero surfing on a taco).

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. Like the Crab Shack and the Toledo Grill, this is one of the show's imaginary restaurants, using the side of another of the show's main locations.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. All it really is, is the outdoor take-out window on the south side of the (real) Pier Diner (which, in real life is called the Redondo Coffee Shop) on the Redondo Beach Pier.

    They just moved in a few potted palms, set up a salsa cart next to the window, added a few outdoor tables & yellow umbrellas for the first scene (there are no outdoor tables or umbrellas at the real coffee shop, just indoor booths), and put up fake signs (and a fake menu) reading "Hangin' Taco" for the second scene. (I don't believe the Redondo Coffee Shop even serves tacos - although you can get salsa on your eggs for breakfast).

    It's located at the southwest corner of the Redondo Beach Pier, in Redondo Beach, CA. The exact address is 141 Fisherman's Wharf, on the pier. Here is a map of the pier.

    For more info about the place, see the page about the Pier Diner.

    I shot the photo below (of the pier diner, AKA the Redondo Coffee Shop) in 2006.

    To get to the Redondo Pier itself, just follow Torrance Blvd west all the way to where it ends at the pier. Pull into the parking area and park on the roof of the parking garage, then walk down to the pier.

    Here's a map link to the location (but be warned that the Google marker points to the east end of the pier, not to the restaurant itself. And here is an aerial photo with the diner marked with a red pin.

    And here's a link to a web page about the coffee shop and the Redondo Pier.

Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A. This was an easy one. As a resident of the South Bay, I've been to the Redondo Beach Pier many times. The first thing to grab my eye on the show were those sail-like art forms that decorate the Redondo Pier - you can't miss them.

    Since I had already done a page about the Pier Diner, it wasn't hard to spot its take-out window in that third season show. That big plastic ice cream cone near the window is really there (only the sign and menu is fake).

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