I’ve had Taco Maria‘s lunch menu a few times, but this was my first time getting their prix-fixe dinner menu. And that prix-fixe menu is your only option for dinner, so if you’re craving a taco you’re out of luck. It’s a strange transition considering how casual their truck and lunch menu is. It would be like if you showed up to McDonald’s and they decided after 6pm they would only serve a fixed meal with dishes like squid-ink pasta and foie gras. But it’s not a gimmick. Chef Carlos Salgado doesn’t just make the usual tacos and then plate them elegantly. He actually elevates the entire dining experience, busting out ingredients that have never touched his lunch and were clearly saved specifically for dinner service. Unless there’s a dungeness crab taco I’m unaware of that he’s serving to everybody except me. Is it because I’m too good looking? Is he jealous of my good looks so he refuses to serve me dungeness crab tacos? I get it. Makes sense.
At $52, the four-course meal is a pretty great value. “But there’s way more than four pictures of food here.” Well you get an option for each course so I obviously forced my date to get the opposite of everything I got, regardless of whether or not she wanted it. I wouldn’t care if one of the options was lobster or shoe. I’d make her eat that shoe just so I could take a picture of it. That’s what you get for eating with a big fancy food blogger like myself.
Campechana (geoduck clam, abalone, spiny lobster, avocado, tomato)
Tamal de Calabaza (kabocha squash, pistachio pipian, lime honey, queso fresco)
Arros con Congrejo (dungeness crab porridge, uni butter, chile de agua, gribenes)
Taco de Calamares (Monterey squid, squid ink tortilla, peanuts, purslane)
Moronga con Patacas (caramelized sunchokes, blood chorizo, green apple, sorrel)
Pescado al Pastor (local white sea bass, hoja santa, pineapple, celtruce)
Pato (Sonoma duck, pear, pomegranate, endive, burnt vanilla)
Costilla de Res (ribeye, short rib, hominy grits, broccoli leaves, chilmole)
3313 Hyland Ave
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Phone number: (714) 538-8444