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Taco Maria

3313 Hyland Ave. (Sunflower Ave.) Send to Phone
714-538-8444 | Menu
Chef/owner Carlos Salgado serves up artistic Chicano cuisine in a cozy Costa Mesa setting.

Lunch & Dinner Tues.-Sat., Brunch Sun.

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Taco Maria, Costa Mesa, CA

Taco Maria Restaurant Review

: This small, unassuming restaurant, located in Costa Mesa's hip OC Mix at South Coast Collection, has a humble interior and breezy outdoor patio. The environment sets the stage for chef/owner Carlos Salgado to put forth a display of seasonal Chicano/Mexican cuisine that challenges and excites. Dinner fare comes in the form of a constantly rotating, four-course prix-fixe menu, in which the typical tropes of heavy cheese and sauce-covered everything are eschewed in favor of genuine regional flavors. It's a common sight to see Salgado bent at the counter, meticulously putting the finishing touches on dishes such as the scallop with chile ancho and squid ink crumbs or the chicken confit with date mole, shiitake mushrooms and almonds. The best way to experience Salgado's talent is to come with a friend, order each item on the dual tasting menu with the wine pairing option, and share. Hungry workers can stop by during lunch and choose from perpetually changing à la carte items, including tacos featuring handmade tortillas and fillings such as local black cod with charred scallion aïoli, cabbage and grapes. Tacos also take center stage on Tuesday evenings, breathing refreshingly new life into the rote "Taco Tuesday" motif found elsewhere.


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