647 W 9th St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Being from Korea, Area Codes can get some of the best Asian food. So when he came to visit SoCal, he wanted things he couldn’t get back home. A great steak. Some BBQ ribs. Maybe a taco or two? He was one of the best hosts when we were visiting Busan, so we certainly wanted to repay the hospitality and Mexican food was easy enough to deliver. The Annoyer’s beloved Los Reyes was (and still is) currently closed due to a fire in the kitchen. My favorite, El Toro Bravo Tortilleria is not exactly conducive to a social gathering for a sit down meal. I had never been to Taco Mesa, but the reviews seemed to be pretty stellar.
We came on a Saturday for a late lunch but the patio was pretty packed.
The salsa bar offerings. The guac cost extra.
Why are the tortilla chips orange? I’ve never seen orange tortilla chips. They tasted just the same.
Blackened Fish Taco chipotle sauce, cabbage relish, blended cheeses, sour cream
I guess I should have read the description more closely, but I’m usually not a fan of tacos with creamy sauce. I like my tacos drenched in tangy salsa. Toppings aside, the fish was true to it’s name, charred but still moist.
Blackened Chicken Taco chipotle sauce, cabbage relish, blended cheeses, sour cream
I wasn’t a fan of the blackened chicken. I found it a tad dry and lacking punch.
Taco Al Pastor
I didn’t try this one, but I think Area Codes enjoyed it.
Carne Asada Taco
Certainly lacking that Mexican kick. I’ve had better.
Blackened Shrimp Taco chipotle sauce, cabbage relish, blended cheeses, sour cream
I told The Annoyer I only wanted 2 tacos, but he ordered this 3rd one because he knows I love shrimp. I was just as underwhelmed by this as I was the other blackened tacos. I actually preferred the fish over the shrimp surprisingly enough.
You’d think they could at least deliver on fried dough. Nope. These sucked. Kind of tasteless and too doughy.
Frankly speaking, Chipotle serves better Mexican food than Taco Mesa. I thought the proteins were somewhat dry and lacking a lot of flavor. The toppings and salsas just lacked any kick. In my opinion, Taco Mesa seems to cater to the Gringo palate. I really did not like the place, but The Annoyer did not mind the place so much. In fact, he liked it better than El Toro Bravo, which is just shocking in my opinion. But in the end, what mattered most, was that our guest of honor, Area Codes, gave the place 2 thumbs up. I hope he wasn’t just being polite for our sake.
10 – You NEED to eat here
9 – Awesome
8 – Very good
7 – Good
6 – OK
5 – Average
4 – Not bad
3 – Not good
2 – Terrible
1 – Do NOT eat here