My husband picked Taco Maria for his birthday dinner after going to Bestia two years in a row.
The restaurant treated him to a glass of sparkling wine and gave him a thank you card for choosing Taco Maria to celebrate the occasion. That was a very nice gesture and something that you rarely see nowadays. Service was friendly and they wished him a happy birthday multiple times. He is a lucky guy in that regard.
We have been coming to Taco Maria once a year for dinner to evaluate their progress. Unfortunately this year we were not as wowed as the previous year. You can blame all the memorable meals we had in Spain for that. To me this year their dishes were either a repeat of last year or they were too simple.
This mojito was on the sugary side and a little light on the rum. It tasted more like a limeade.
Amuse Pork Trotters, Hibiscus Pickled Radish and suzuki Fish
Our favorite was the pork trotters. The pickled radish was a nice touch and the suzuki fish was refreshing.
Campechana Geoduck, Octopus, Spot Prawns, Cherry Tomato, Avocado
I had the same dish last year and since the other option did not excite me I went for it again. The marinated tomatoes were as delicious as the sea creatures. I inquired about their source and was told they were from one of my favorite farmer’s, Harry. I tasted the same tomatoes at the farmers market a week later and they didn’t taste the same. I guess peeling the tomatoes and marinating it had something to do with it. One thing I should mention is, this dish was supposed to have uni according to the menu and even the waiter mentioned uni when he placed it in front of me. As I was eating, I wondered where the uni was? Since we were sitting at the chef’s counter, I asked one of the kitchen staff about it and was told since the uni was not that fresh that day, they skipped it.
Sope de Calabacitas Summer squash Tart, Ricotta, Basil
My husband’s choice and it was visually appealing but he prefered my choice better. Basically pretty squashes atop blue corn tortilla crust.
Arroz con Cangrejo Carolina Gold Rice, Dungeness Crab, Green Chile, Chicken Skin
My husband picked this dish and since he is a rice guy he enjoyed it. There was a little crab mixed in with plenty of rice. The chicken skin provided crunch.
Calamares en Recado Negro Local Squid, Olive Oil Potatoes, chile Ash, Purslane
My second dish was fine, but I didn’t care for the sweet recado negro. I enjoyed the purslane though as it helped to cut the sweetness. The squid was tender and the olive oil potatoes were a little too soft.
Mero con Tomatillo Baja Halibut, Cucumber, Green Melon, Tomatillo, Avocado
This was a very boring dish and the reason we picked it was, we had the other option last year and against our better judgement, we picked this dish. The fish looked like it was poached and some of it was on the fishy side. The avocado, melon and tomatillo were all green and did not add much to the dish. A contrast in color would have helped it visually.
Carne Asada Ribeye Cap, Onion Cream, Quelites, Eggplant
Thankfully we finished our tasting with the strongest dish of the night. You can never go wrong with steak at Taco Maria. It was flavorful, but mine was a little on a rare side, which was fine with me. The onion cream and eggplant added plenty of flavor and the crisp quelites a delicious herbal element.
Harry’s Strawberry Atole
Since they still don’t have a dessert course they ended our meal with this warm drink consisting of strawberries, corn and corn tortilla. A little sweet for my taste.