i love to eat and travel and document as much of it as i can.

all the tacos at taco maria.

all the tacos at taco maria.

one of the foods we ate a lot of when we thought we were leaving LA? TACOS! of course. we made many a visit to some of our favorites (guisados, tacos delta, b.s. taqueria to name a few), but we also made a special trip down to costa mesa just for TACO MARIA. i've heard they serve an amazing prix fixe dinner that may or may not include tacos, but we specifically went at lunch time so that we could eat all the tacos. literally, we ordered all five tacos on the menu that day.

red sangria with seasonal fruit, hibiscus, star anise; vaquita marina pale ale from ensenada, mexico.

we sat at the counter overlooking part of the kitchen and got to watch heirloom corn tortillas made by hand along with other dishes being meticulously executed.

heirloom corn tortillas, made by hand.

esquites: brentwood corn, corn butter, cotija, chile morita.

okay, onto the TACOS.

arrachera: hangar steak, roasted chiles, applewood bacon, queso.

hot sauce.

all the tacos were amazing - familiar flavors, perfectly cooked with enough of a unique twist to make each of them really stand out. like the grapes on the fish taco, or the shiitake chorizo. 

pescado frito: local black cod, charred scallion aioli, cabbage, concord grapes.

tocino: pork belly, piloncillo glaze, andy's orchard stone fruit, salsa de aguacate, cilantro.

the arrachera was my favorite (so tender! so flavorful!), but it was really the tortillas that stole the show. soft, with just the right amount of chew; i would have happily eaten quite a few of those on their own. i'm not sure the next time i'll be able to make it down to costa mesa for lunch, but it's definitely worth the trip!

jardineros: shiitake mushroom chorizo, crispy potato, queso fundido.

mole de pollo: jidori chicken, ancho-almond mole, queso fresco.

3313 Hyland Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA, 92626

charcoal, venice.

charcoal, venice.

animal, fairfax.

animal, fairfax.