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Restaurants & Bars 10

Taco Rosa – Fine Mexican in O.C.

Dommy! | Jan 17, 200510:40 PM

Recently a college pal moved from Davis to O.C.. I offered to take her to lunch, thinking I would get a chance to show her all the great Asian food in her new backyard… however, when she wrote back… she said she wanted Mexican… well, her husband is Mexican and she’s a rather healthy girl… so at first I was stumped… then it hit me… I had seen a few raves from this new place in Newport Beach, owned by the Taco Mesa family, so off we went!

Taco Rosa is located in Newport Beach in a neighborhood grocery shopping center. It’s in a far corner (So actually pretty hard to spot from the street). But don’t let the location fool you, just like Reeds in El Segundo, once you step in, you know you are at a good place. Nice full bar, cozy tables and a patio. VERY friendly waitstaff. Also, you will notice cash registers at the front and think it’s a direct order place, well it is if you are doing take out, but they do, do table service.

Upon sitting down, almost instantly they bring what they call ‘Bocaditos’. Complimentary appetizers consisting of a tiny little taquito (Chicken made with Flour Tortilla), a blue corn Tostada, and some spicy pickled carrots, onions, and cauliflower. The pickled veggies were my favorite! So crisp and tasty! They also used it to garnish the entrée plates, so I had plenty more during the meal.

For Appetizer, we had the Squash blossom Quesadillas made with their handmade corn tortillas. They were about eight quarters, served all around sour cream and guacamole. They were very good. Cheesy, buttery (from the squash blossoms) and stuffed with asparagus to add a wonderful crisp texture. VERY much recommended, $8

For entrees… we surprisingly ordered the same thing! The Carnitas Pibil. I LOVE Carnitas. My family is from the Yucatan, so I’m always curious about other’s people’s version of pibil. We were severed a very large plate, with rice, pinto beans (de hoya), gucamole, more of the marinated veggies and the roasted pork wrapped Tamale style in banana leaf.

The roasted pork was tasty… but it lacked the salty crispness of good carnitas and it didn’t have the spicing didn’t have juiciness and tang of a good achiote sauce that is used in pibil cooking. Nevertheless, it was still very good roast pork and thankfully they also garnished the plate with fresh slices of chile seranos and when put all together in a taco with their thick fresh tortillas… it was a very good lunch. The plate (Which I brought more than ½ home) was $10.

Finally, we shared Flan (I WANTED to try the sopapillas they make, since a query about them was recently asked on the board…sadly, the portion would have been MUCH too big for us…). It was homemade, THICK flan over a bed of rich cream and chocolate. VERY heavy dessert, almost like a cheesecake… But not too sweet and the cream/chocolate sauce was a good compliment.

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