Newport Beach, CA
I recently attended an Orange County Food Blogger meetup. In attendance were Christian from OC Mexican Food, Elmomonster from Monster Munching, Chubby Panda from the Epicurious Wanderer, Carter, Joy, a student named Josh that was doing some college paper on something food related that I didn't quite hear too much about and last but not least, my wife.
We decided to meet up at Taco Rosa to try Taco Rosa's new March specials. The one that we were all most excited about was the ceviche trio. 5 out of the 8 of us ordered this ceviche dish and we all seemed to enjoy it.
When we were first seated, a complimentary appetizer was brought out to the table. I understand that this is standard of Taco Rosa. We received a small tostada covered in beans, lettuce, sour cream, cheese and tomatoes. There was also a small fried pouch that was filled with beans.
Next we were served some fresh chips with guacamole and salsa ($7.00). The salsas were excellent, but none of them were too spicy. The chips tasted a little burnt, but they weren't horrible.
For my lunch I decided to order the ceviche trio ($10) and an order of two mini lobster tacos ($3.50). My wife ordered two portabello mushroom tacos ($3.50 each) and a side order of black beans ($2.00).
The ceviche trio was pleasant and fresh. I received three small tostadas, each with one of three different ceviches, fish, scallops and shrimp. The fish ceviche turned out to be my favorite. It was made with fresh tilapia, chipotle mayo and tangerine. I thought it was oranges though. The scallop ceviche was tossed with fresh papaya and the shrimp ceviche came served with cucumber and avocado.
The two mini lobster tacos were fantastic. Small, tasty morsels of lobster were housed inside a mini, fried flour tortilla and topped with cabbage and what seemed to be a mango salsa.
My wife was a little disappointed in her tacos. She ordered portobello mushroom tacos because she has been trying to eat healthier recently. She said that the tacos were so greasy though, that it defeated the purpose of trying to order something healthy.
Overall, Taco Rosa is a nice place to come for an upscale, yet casual Mexican dining experience. Our lunch here wasn't bad, but I would prefer to come here for their Sunday brunch. The brunch here is buffet style, but is reasonably priced at $14.95 with champagne included (last time I checked). If you go here for brunch, try the Mexican hot chocolate. Brunch seems to be the only time they ever serve it. (Brunch only available at the Newport Beach location)
Brunch is now available in both locations. The Mexican hot chocolate is no longer available at either location and the manager was very rude when we asked him if there was a possibility of ever bringing it back.