Smoked Salmon w/ Poached Eggs Shaved Kale, Heirloom Tomato, Avocado, Cilantro Gremolata
I think this dish must be one of the most popular on their menu. The salmon was nice and smoky. The avocado added more good fat. The roasted tomatoes were unusually flavorful for this time of the year.
Red Rock Eggs Electric City Stewed Chorizo, Tomato, Onion, Prosciutto, Baked Eggs
My husband was going to get the burger but they did not offer it because it was a Sunday!! The server recommended this dish instead. I took a bit of a very chewy meat and no matter how long I chewed, I could not break down the meat’s fiber. It was very spicy and salty also.
Pink Lady Strawberry Gelée, White Chocolate Lemon Mousee, Macron Crunchy
Even though I am not a white chocolate fan, I enjoyed the white chocolate lemon mousse. The strawberry gelee added a nice berry touch.
Mont-Blanc Almond Cream & Pear, Blackcurrant, Chestnut Cream, Meringue
Blackcurrant was the reason I picked this treat. Almond and chestnut added earthiness. Pear was a nice fall touch.
I thought I was buying a new item but I guess I had their opera cake a long time ago. It was on the sweet side.
Vaca is Chef Amar Santana and partners Spanish influenced restaurant In Costa Mesa, CA. Ever since the restaurant opened up, I was curious to see if they can deliver the kind of Spanish cuisine we savored in Spain. After reading some mixed reviews, my husband decided to check it out for his birthday. From my research, I knew that they served great wood fired grilled steaks and good tapas but I did not expect much going in. I did not find most of their tapas that interesting and asked where their shrimp was from? our waitress did not know and had to ask. The answer was it was farm raised from some country in Latin America that I can not recall. The service was friendly and helpful. As we walked in, they asked us if we were celebrating an occasion and we responded yes. The seating arrangement was not ideal because they had crammed too many tables too close to each other. You felt like you had no privacy.
HUESO AL HORNO Roasted bone marrow, beef cheek toast, citrus
The bone marrow was OK and was resting on the top of beef cheek that reminded my husband of a Persian stew, Fesenjan. It was on the sweet side.
PULPO A LA GALLEGA Warm Spanish octopus, fingerling potatoes, pimenton and Spanish olive oil
This dish was 80% potatoes, 20% octopus. The little octopus that you got was thinly sliced and was buried under a mountain of potatoes.
BONELESS PIEDMONTESE NEW YORK STEAK
Thank God the steak delivered. They had a selection of New York strips and our waitress recommended the Piedmontese one. It was very beefy and had a great char and a nice crust.
Chimichurri Sauce and their version of A1
I liked the chimichurri much better. The other sauce was too sweet.
Vanilla Ice Cream
What was odd, they did not ask us if we wanted to order dessert and just delivered this treat with a candle. It was a nice gesture but odd nevertheless.
Raspberry Mille Feuille
This is their new version I guess. The middle layer is a cake. It was good but not as great as I hoped.
Choupi Cube pâte à choux, Grand marnier Light Cream
We were trying to decide between two selections and the girl behind the counter suggested this one. The cube was crunchy on the outside but the cream inside was light on Grand Marnier.
Marche Moderne used to be one of our favorite restaurants in OC. Unfortunately every time we go there, we are less satisfied than the time before. The problem is that a lot of dishes look great on the paper, but once you taste it, it hardly delivers. We picked three dishes and they were all on the sweet side. Our waiter was a little stiff and seemed disengaged. So considering their high prices, we have no desire of returning any time soon.
Amelia’s Chopped Salad Parsley salad of Endive, Radicchio, Toma Cheese, Rosette de Lyon, Tomatoes, Garbanzo beans, Oregano-Lemon Vinaigrette, California freshly pressed Olive Oil
It was a refreshing salad but was on the small side.
Wild Bristol Bay Maine Scallops “Seared Rare “ Kale, Passion Fruit, Cilantro, Pineapple, Thai Basil, & Quinoa Salad, Lime Emulsion
Sounds like a tropical salad but it was a very one note dish and that being sweet. The scallops were cooked just right though.
Lamb Merguez Sandwich On wood burning Baguette, Mint, Cilantro, Emulsion Menthe et Chermoula, Cumin scented carrot & pickled, Onion, Chick Peas, Cucumber Lemon Yogurt
After reading the ingredients you are ready to eat a Moroccan influenced sandwich. The merguez was made in the house and it was good, but there was no sign of chick peas. The cucumber yogurt was good but the portion was on the small side. So, considering they charged $16 for it, it was a poor value.
My husband picked this one and it was a good doughnut but nothing exciting. Banana cake with walnuts crumble topping.
Cara Cara Orange
I was not crazy about the sugary glaze but the cake had a nice orange flavor.
This was a pretty good chocolate doughnut. I tasted more chocolate than rye though.
My brother treated us one morning while visiting. We all liked the ham and egg and of course the chocolate.
It has been a while since we have had lunch at Taco Maria. It is amazing how popular this place has become. We had to wait around forty minutes to be seated. This shows Orange County is in desperate need of good restaurants. We noticed the price of some of the dishes has gone up and portions have shrunk. The quality of the food is high and most dishes are flavorful but the cost to portion ratio is off.
Aguachile Hokkaido scallop, Cucumber, Citrus, Serrano, Herbs
This has been our favorite dish on the menu ever since we had it the first time. The lime-y, fire-y broth is so delicious you can eat ten bowls of it, but your tummy might have a problem with that. The scallop was very fresh and the cucumber was the cooling element this dish needed.
Broccolini, Chorizo, Almonds
It was a delicious dish but look at the portion. Way too small to make you happy. I made the same dish this past weekend and mine made us much happier.
Arrachera Hanger Steak, Roasted Chiles, Applewood Bacon, Queso Fundido
This used to be our favorite taco but sadly the portion has shrunk. They used to give you a good amount of beef on each taco but they have reduced it and instead give you a big piece of bacon. Now at $8.50 a taco, this is not a good deal.