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ChristianZ's Profile

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Irvine - Taco Rosa

This new location will soon serve breakfast every morning. At least that's what their sign said yesterday.

Apr 03, 2007
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Irvine - Taco Rosa

Taco Rosa is sort of a strange place in that you have to go at least three separate times ordering something entirely different each time before you make a judgment on it. I'm not saying it's going to be bad the first two times then good after that but that you need a couple visits to take it all in. The staff there at the new one is a little befuddled at times but genuinely helpful. I was there yesterday and ordered the sopapillas for dessert. It took unusually long for them to come and the waiter explained that other waiters kept snatching up what should've been my dessert to take to their (the other waiter's) tables. They didn't even charge me for one of the drinks so that was cool, although it's probably the dessert they should've removed the charge for.

Apr 02, 2007
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Authentic taco catering in LA or OC???

Taco Mesa.

Gabbi's.

Tiscareno's.

Mar 21, 2007
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Taco Rosa in Irvine

It opens the first week of March.

Jan 31, 2007
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Tell this hound...

"If you wanted inter-personal messaging, you could go to another forum, like AIM"

Yes, understood, except that there's no way to find out somebody's AIM handle unless you ask for it in a thread and hope they see your question and they respond before the mods delete everything. Besides, I don't want PM capabilities here for the purpose of trading tips in secret.

Sep 25, 2006
ChristianZ in Site Talk

Tell this hound...

So the reason there is no private messaging is that people might use it to conceal chow tips?

Sep 22, 2006
ChristianZ in Site Talk

Tell this hound...

There's no way to PM anyone?

Sep 21, 2006
ChristianZ in Site Talk

Tell this hound...

I suppose there's no answer.

Sep 21, 2006
ChristianZ in Site Talk

Tell this hound...

If you see "Tell this hound they really should answer some profile questions!" how do you go about actually doing it?

Sep 20, 2006
ChristianZ in Site Talk

Snow Cones

Good Hawaiian shaved ice at Nalu's Island Grill in Irvine.

Sep 20, 2006
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Laguna Beach

Javier's on PCH. Catch it before it moves to Crystal Cove. Or catch it after it moves there. Best mole sauce around.

http://ocmexfood.blogspot.com/2006/03...

Sep 20, 2006
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Taco Tuesday in the Irvine/Tustin/Costa Mesa/Santa Ana area?

That must've been a long time ago since Taco Mesa opened in 1992, possibly 1991.

Sep 12, 2006
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Phillipes review

I love Phillipes. I used to like getting Clove Lifesavers from there . . . until they stopped selling them, but I believe their candy rack still has the spot identified where they are supposed to go.

Sep 12, 2006
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Taco Tuesday in the Irvine/Tustin/Costa Mesa/Santa Ana area?

Don't forget Taco Mesa! They do a Taco Tuesday too (90% sure). It is in the same vicinity as El Toro Bravo, Jugos Acapulco, and Taqueria el Granjenal. All good choices (one of them I've yet to try, but I can vouch for the others). There is also a little known place in that area called La Cocina de Isabel:

http://ocmexfood.blogspot.com/2006/05...

Sep 12, 2006
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Catal in Downtown Disney review (Orange County) [Moved from Calif board]

Service ata restaurant is always important but to me it is not of penultimate importance. Sometimes servers act so nice it is almost cloying. Of course, you don't want servers to be outright rude but quality of food comes first. Hoping to make it back to Catal within a month or so and we'll see how their service is for my second time.

Sep 07, 2006
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Mexican recs for godson and significant other

Are you willing to travel to Orange County?

In LA, have you been to Olvera St.? El Cholo Cafe? They've got green corn tamales and blue tamales.

Sep 07, 2006
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Best affordable places around Chapman University for lunch and dinner

All suggestions made so far are good. Watson's has been around since 1899 but they froze in time somewhere around the 1940's or 1950's. You could go somewhere else for your meal then go get a malt or a shake at Watson's. Just around the corner from Watson's is a new up-and-coming Mexican restaurant called Gabbi's:

http://ocmexfood.blogspot.com/2006/08...

Sep 07, 2006
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Taco Mesa in Orange - Review and Photo Link

"So live a little, order Taco Mesa's seafood dishes."

Did I mention you can get blackened calamari tacos from Taco Mesa?

Sep 07, 2006
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Catal in Downtown Disney review (Orange County) [Moved from Calif board]

The one time I went the service was good. We caught them at a weird time when breakfast was just about to end but everything was fine as far as I was concerned. I take bad service at a restaurant as a fluke unless it happens at least twice.

Sep 06, 2006
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Taco Mesa in Orange - Review and Photo Link

I believe their specials board mentioned roasted tomato soup when I was there. They still have their original location in Costa Mesa, one in Ladera Ranch, and the only one I haven't been to yet is in Mission Viejo.

Sep 06, 2006
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Honda Ya (Review)

I went there with several other Orange County chowhounds and we all had a great time. Loved the quail eggs. I've only been to it that one time but I've been to its sister restaurant, Kappo Honda in Fountain Valley, several times.

Sep 06, 2006
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Taco Mesa in Orange - Review and Photo Link

In my quest to try out every Taco Mesa location I recently made it to their spot in the city of Orange for the first time. If you didn't know that Taco Mesa has been voted as the #1 Mexican restaurant in Orange County you might overlook them in this unassuming locale. One of the people I went with on this visit said she used to work right by it and never realized it was there and now she's kicking herself for having not availed herself of the opportunity to take frequent lunch breaks there when she ahd the chance. So now I'm calling it to your attention. Begun by the brothers Calderon (Ivan and Marco) in the early Nineties the Taco Mesa chain focused on healthy, authentic, traditionally based Mexican food that would fill you up without weighing you down. Fifteen years later they are still going strong with four locations, a spinoff (Taco Rosa - similar to Taco Mesa but with more elegance), and plans for expansion.

Pay attention to the specials board when you enter. You might be able to catch a rare dish. I don't know if it's true at other Taco Mesa locations but this one in Orange serves breakfast all day.

I also stumbled upon the site recently for Taco Mesa Ministry, a Christian group that meets at the Orange location on Tuesdays and Fridays (tacomesaministry.com - although I don't know if they are still active).

I ordered their special of the day, the Pescado Acapulco, a yellowtail tuna fillet resting on a bed of acorn squash with spokes of carrot and asparagus. My friends, Chris and Kristanna, took advantage of Taco Mesa's new lunch combos using one of the coupons from my mailer to get the second combo for only a dollar. They each got a three item plate with a taco, an enchilada, and two taquitos.

They make two or three different flavors of aguas frescas, fresh fruit juices, each day. I had the horchata on this visit and if I remember correctly the other choices that day were watermelon and jamaica, but they have many different flavors to choose from.

The only dessert they offer is baked cream cheese flan with caramel and strawberries, but it is worth it. If you are turned off of flan because of its typically silky texture then give this kind a try because it is thick and rich. I used the other coupon from the mailer I brought with me to get the flan for only a dollar. Pay attention to your "junk mail" as these coupons might circulate again. Still looking forward to reviewing their Costa Mesa and Mission Viejo locations.

The photo post contains nine high quality pictures of the restaurant and its food:

http://ocmexfood.blogspot.com/2006/08...

Sep 06, 2006
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Catal in Downtown Disney review (Orange County) [Moved from Calif board]

I've been there for breakfast before and want to try it for lunch or dinner sometime. Good to see a lengthy review on it here.

Sep 06, 2006
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Please recommend restaurant in Costa Mesa/Hungtington Beach?

Dukes or Chimayo at the beginning of the pier. There's also a good Italian place near the theater across the street from the pier. Wahoo's on Main St. for some decent fish tacos (although there are better things on the menu). TK Burgers should be pretty close to your hotel. Aloha Grill, also on Main St. for a Hawaiian flare.

Sep 06, 2006
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

New to Orange County - where to eat?

I see Taleo and Taco Rosa have both been mentioned. If you had to pick between the two I'd say go with Taco Rosa but you couldn't go wrong with either. Taco Rosa is a little more likely to have rare specials whenever you go. I had an unusually good, unique chile relleno last time I was there (ever seen a chile relleno topped with almond cream sauce and pomegranate seeds?). If you do go with Taleo I would suggest their carnitas platter. During the holidays Taleo has special turkey tamales and sweet potato flan. My blog extensively covers each restaurant:

http://ocmexfood.blogspot.com

Sep 06, 2006
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Excellent Authentic Mexican in LAGUNA!

Do they have any good desserts at La Rana?

Aug 26, 2006
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Is there chow near Coto de Caza?

Taco Mesa in Ladera Ranch.

Aug 15, 2006
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Best Food Blogs?

Elmo Monster's Monster Munching blog:

http://elmomonster.blogspot.com/

Jul 27, 2006
ChristianZ in Food Media & News

Where can I get a good Chile Relleno?

I like Gabbi's and Taco Mesa (I'm even more of a Taco Rosa guy; I go at least once or twice a month and, yes, they have great chile rellenos there). Gabbi's was on my mind more since I went a couple times right after they opened very recently. Had an excellent fish dish there the second time and a good zucchini enchilada the first time. Each time I went was with a different group of people but each time we got the tropical quesadilla as an appetizer and everyone loved it including one person who said it was the best quesadilla she's ever had. Sorry about anyone having a bad experience there.

Jul 27, 2006
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area

Review: PIONEER CHICKEN (Sunset/Fountain)

"I remember back when Pioneer Chicken was a fairly big chain around here. And their fried chicken was terrible."

You mean they can never, ever improve?

Jul 27, 2006
ChristianZ in Los Angeles Area