Disclaimer: I come here a lot because it is so damn good, the menu changes so much, and it's one of the best restaurants in SoCal period.
Did a wine dinner at Taco Maria last night. Chef Carlos continues to take things to an entirely different level.
I called ahead and asked if they could do an extra truffle course for our party of 9. I would supply the truffles (ordered from Sabatino's). They were excited and agreed at an extra $12 for the truffle course. Of course Chef Carlos went over the top and made it into 3 courses.
Amuse Bouche: hamachi and radish. Tart, spicy, and sweet this opened the palate.
Egg with truffle cream and caramelized onions. Without prompting, the balla at the table (same guy who asked why we were eating Mexican food in OC) proclaimed it better than the egg at Melisse. I agree. This is right up there with the best versions of the Arpege egg out there. Including the version at Arpege. Said Balla immediately changed his upcoming anniversary reservations from Stonehill Tavern to Taco Maria.
Campechana with spiny lobster, abalone, and geoduck. One of my favorites and this wowed everyone present.
Quesadilla with short rib, truffles, and cheese. Best quesadilla ever. No seriously. The corn tortilla was thick, warm, crispy, soft, and utterly delicious. Note the addition of huitlacoche (Mexican truffles). Genius.
Dungeness crab arroz/congee with uni butter and chicken skin cracklings + truffles. Officially the best bite of the year and favorite dish in all of Southern California. Come now for this.
Short rib and rib eye. As you can see, perfectly cooked. Sauce was smoky. Fried broccoli leaves were excellent.
Total damage $52 tasting menu+ $12 extra course + 26.67 pp for truffles = best deal ever for a truffle dinner.