(Translated by Google) Food and service well(Original)Comida y servicio bien
I took my girlfriend here as a surprise for her birthday. Simply put, this was by far the best meal either of us have ever experienced. As a PhD student I have the opportunity to interact with an work for professors who have made the study of their subject their life’s work; something that occupies their whole mind and energies. The result of that pursuit of excellence. is what allows them to achieve such heights in mastery of their subject. As we ate each of the courses in succession I began to realize that this, the food of Taco Maria and the knowledge and connections that come with it, is Carlos Selgado’s life’s work. For a mere $90/person (the most I have ever spent at a restaurant. Grad students don’t make much money.) we got to experience the full force of what is no doubt a lifetime of effort and dedication from Carlos. Even in an evening where everything was overwhelming good, there were certain points in the meal that really stuck out. For me it was when I tasted the pork belly Tocino and I realized that the Mexican preparation made pork belly a completely unique experience to Chinese, Japanese or Italian preparations I was used to (it so defied and exceeded my expectations that after my first bite I gasped and my girlfriend got worried if I was ok haha). For my girlfriend it was the taste of the green bee tomatoes in the ensalada verde who’s flavor was so rich and complex and long-lasting we were both surprised it was “just” a tomato! Both of us were especially impacted by the temal de fresas. There was something special about the charred bitter smell of the roasted husk combined with the sweet smell and taste of the interior that brought up childhood memories for both of us. For her it was the memory of her parents roasting fresh sweet corn on camping trips when she was young. For me it was the smell of my mother making me a s’more while on a camping trip in the Adirondacks when I was around 7 years old. The taste was excellent, but it was nothing compared to that smell. Based on the reviews I had seen I knew taking my girlfriend here was going to be special, so I was prepared to be amazed, but we were both still floored by the whole experience. We will be going back… once we have saved up enough.
Very different taco experience from what I am used to. From the fast food tacos to local neighborhood restaurant tacos to tacos in Tijuana, the tacos at taco maria is more refined. The ingredients used and the preparation is more thoughtful and it is reflected in the tacos in a delicious way. I believe their tortillas were select as one of the best in southern California a few years back as well. Recommended for sure.
[1 Michelin Star] Tacos Tuesday is on point, follow me! Highlights of the menu: 1. Aguachile: MX bay scallop crudo, persian cucumber, jalapeno, pink guava, lime 2. Camarones a la diabla: blackened prawns, chile morita, black lime crema 3. Chuleta de porco: grilled Kurobuta pork, bacon chorizo, gold dust peach, marigold 4. Aguacate tatemado: charred avocado, toasted cumin, hazelnut oil 5. Raspado de Melon: frozen Weiser Farms melon, Straus yoghurt mousse, anise hyssop, blueberry Drinks: 6. Iced mango-ceylon tea 7. Margarita clasica Such a great ambience and vibe for this spot with industrial design and candle lighting. This spot has both indoor and outdoor seating areas. I love how simple and modern this place is. Such a cute spot! The food here is incredibly good!! I fall in love at first bite with both the shrimp and scallop dishes. Such a great balance to pick these 2 dishes to have together as appertizers! The drinks are so good and once again, I have to say that I love both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic ones. So good!! Worth the 1 star Michelin earned. The best of the flavor and presentation. Everything was on point! I love how pretty all the dishes are decorated with edible flowers. I think I need to come back just to order 2 of the deserts. The best I have had in the last month so far.
Although the name is “Taco Maria” , they don’t actually serve tacos - they used to serve tacos and they were some of the best I’ve ever had, but they don’t do tacos anymore (shameful)
Taco Maria. Santa Maria. This place is heavenly. Where do I start. The location is quaint and unassuming elegant but nothing about it is ordinary. Even the caesar salad is Amazing. I mean it is extraordinary. The cheese on it is so good. The agua fresca I had with it was a perfect pairing. The service was top notch, everything about the place is great. We are so lucky to have this restaurant in OC.
The food is excellent and service is stellar. This is poetry on a plate.