ARC Food & Libations
Most everything here is cooked on a wood-fire grill and comes away with a distinctive smoky flavor, from the meatballs and quail to the charred bacon (served with quite possibly the OC’s best wedge salad). A well-executed menu of artisanal cocktails (like the Italian Snow Cone made with Aperol, or Hyland Old-Fashioned crafted with black walnut bitters) balances out all the earthy, woodsy flavors.
Don’t be fooled by the name: Taco Maria’s more than a simple taqueria (although it does make a particularly memorable shiitake mushroom taco). While the prix-fixe dinner menu changes regularly, it always features elegant, modern interpretations of Mexican food, like scallops served with a soft Oaxacan cheese and black squid ink crumbs.
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