The only thing better than getting tacos fresh off the line from a taquero’s plancha? When that taco-making maestro is crafting his masterpieces exclusively for you and the squad.
At Descanso Restaurant in Costa Mesa, CA, you can enjoy that experience via their tableside griddles. It sounds like a “Mexican Benihana,” sure, but the dinner here is less about flashy chef tricks and more about serious flavor.
Helming Descanso’s kitchen and menu is Sergio Ortega, a native of Morelia, Michoacan that’s offering up a plethora of authentic fare alongside some local Californian twists. Amongst these includes a herbaceous choriqueso verde that’ll make your tastebuds sing and a Mexi Poke that marries together big eye tuna, soy sauce, and morita chilies to perfection.
At each plancha is a taquero, or “taco maker,” that Descanso uses to define their chefs that cook your entire meal. You start with some chicharron, chips, and salsa to snack on as the chef fires up some seasonal vegetables on the plancha. From there, it’s on to a take on Peruvian arroz chaufa that’s listed on the menu as “Mexican Fried Rice.”
For the main course, you have your choice of tacos, quesadillas, or cheesy alambres to order from. The tacos here are handmade with both blue and white masa for a unique two-toned tortilla, while the alambres are a true feast fit for sharing. Cheese is fried directly on the plancha while meat, bacon, onions, toreado chilies, avocado salsa, and poblanos sizzle together. Everything is then swiftly combined together to create a flavor bomb whose aroma stretches as far as the cheese pulls the alambres yields.
It may not have the flash and flair of a certain teppanyaki chain, but the artistry and aroma of the food here are intricate and delicious enough to weave their own unforgettable story that’s 100% worth the reservation.