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Costa Mesa isn’t exactly close - it’s about an hour from Downtown LA - but considering that’s how long it takes to get across the city during rush hour, it’s a small price to pay for a really special meal at Taco María. So is $79 - the cost of their incredibly inventive four-course tasting menu. Two people is the perfect number for this place, because there are two options for every course, so you can just order the entire menu. You’ll eat things like peanut and smoked sturgeon tacos, and the most interesting peas and rice salad you’ll ever taste. The drive back to LA will fly by when you’re talking about this meal.
Base Price: $79
Costa Mesa’s Taco Maria doesn’t even include tacos on their $79 tasting menu, but the food is so good you probably won’t notice. The four-course menu changes with what’s in-season, and can include things like a giant scallop on the half-shell with squid ink croutons and cheese, a simple rice salad with incredibly fresh vegetables, and a corn tamal so light and fluffy you’ll want to stuff your pillow with it. The wine list also has some really interesting options by the glass, or you can go all-in and get the $39 wine pairing with your prix fixe. When you’re starting to get sick of the same old thing, a meal at Taco Maria is the remedy.