After hearing about it on local radio and in a few comments here, we went to Taleo Mexican Grill, in Irvine for dinner Saturday night. Very glad that we did. This place bills itself as "authentic Mexican", and I have no real experience for comparison
but it is certainly many cuts above your typical SoCal Mexican fare.
Started with a bottle of Foxen Cabernet 2001 (very well priced @ $31, this wine is around $24 at retail). It was odd that the bottle was brought to the table already opened, but it tasted fine (good enough to buy for home), so I didnt make an issue. What was that all about???
The BB (beautiful bride) and I shared a bowl of their roasted corn soup, topped with a poblano sauce, instead of an appetizer (the reason comes later). M-m-mm-m-m!!!!!!
Entrees were: for the BB, Hand-pulled Chicken Enchiladas Suizas, served with a cilantro/ lime white rice and re-fried beans. BB kept commenting on how great the chicken tasted. Mine was Mole Poblano 1/2 roasted chicken in a red mole, served with streamed squashes & carrots and a Mexican-style rice with corn, peas, etc .. BB didnt know mole usually has chocolate in it and was asking to taste the sauce every few minutes. Only constructive comment on the entrees was that they were brought out much too quickly (barely got through the soup) . seemed to be the same for a few tables around us but we were very hungry, so it was OK this once.
Then the reason for the light appetizer sharing .. and, honestly, the reason we went there in the first place .. Paste del Tres Leches. W-O-W!!!!!!! Heard about this via the radio review, and our son has talked about it in the past. How have we missed it all these years???? Almost too amazing to describe .. Im sure true hounds dont need a breakdown, but this is a white cake (I think it can be any good white or yellow cake) soaked in a mixture of evaporated and condensed milks, and heavy cream ("3 milks"). It was topped with whipped cream, lots more of the milks mixture and some fresh berries.
Maybe it was the bottle of cab, but this was a very special food event for us. Service was very good too, except for the wine thing and the quick entrees. Taleo is very close to UCI, and the staff was all in the college age range. They seem to use the team method anyway, all four that served us were great. When we told our main server that we had heard of the place through local radio and this site, she brought one of the managers over. I got the impression that, even after 10 months, Taleo is still in the new stage. At least he seemed to be suggesting that their business doesn't flow predictably yet. I need to talk them up and go back often to support this place.