Taco Asylum is the perfect addition to the collection of global, sustainable, healthy and hip restaurants found at the CAMP in Costa Mesa. Each of their unique 9 taco offerings were constructed by Le Cordon Blue Trained, Executive Chef, Greg Daniels who uses fresh ingredients, sustainable meats and local products from local farms whenever possible.
If you go, I recommend you whet your pallet with a flight of 8 tacos while you make a game plan for your second visit. Trust me, you will be back! The flight comes with each of their taco creations except for the Ghost Chili Pork taco. The tortillas are so obviously fresh; lightly puffed, warm and chewy. The Grilled Octopus taco was tender, juicy and topped with Kalamata olives, feta and tomatoes. The Pork Belly Taco was like an explosion of flavor in my mouth. I will come back to Taco Asylum for the Short Rib Taco which is topped with diced chunks of eggplant ratatouille and mache lettuce. But I’ll probably also enjoy the Duck and Lamb taco again and again. Don’t fear the Corazon (beef heart). Take a big bit and tell your friends about your dinner adventure. The Curried Paneer was my eighth favorite taco (e.g. least favorite) but only because it lacked the excitement of the others. But the Wild Mushroom made up for it in fried chickpeas – So fun to eat! This place also has some really unique beer on tap and in cans. This time I opted for one of their non-alcoholic options – Red Hot Ginger Ale. Next time I’m trying the Coconut Porter or maybe the Hemp Ale.
What I really love about this place is that it takes adventurous and gourmet ingredients outside of the typical, stuffy, “$40 an entrée” environment. Instead, their stark, industrial décor turns out to be an ideal subtle backdrop to the over-the-top flavor of their tacos. You can simply sit back with your Red Hot Ginger Ale (or Coconut Porter) and enjoy the food!
Taco Asylum’s 8 Taco flight ($18):
- Grilled Octopus: flour tortilla, Kalamata olives, oregano, feta & tomatoes
- Pork Belly: flour tortilla, carrots, daikon, onions, cilantro
- Short Rib: flour tortilla, pickled red onion, salsa verde, totija cheese, cilantro
- Curried Paneer: nan tortilla, raita, tomato chutney
- Wild Mushroom: herbed tortilla, mushrooms, garbanzo puree, parsley salad, friend checkpeas
- Lamb: flour tortilla, olive tapenade, ratatouille, mache
- Duck: flour tortilla, camembert, Dijon crem fraiche
- Corazon :flour tortilla, confit beef heart, pickled turnips and peppers, harissa
At the CAMP
2937 S. Bristol St., B102
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Photo courtesy of Taco Asylum website