Palenque Brings Oaxaca Delicacies to Costa Mesa

Palenque Brings Oaxaca Delicacies to Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa has greater than its share of notable eating places. If there’s a sort of delicacies you’re on the lookout for, you may in all probability discover it at South Coast Plaza or on seventeenth Road.

Mexican-themed eating places abound. Probably the most current is Palenque on Newport Boulevard. It’s the second Palenque location. The flagship restaurant is in downtown Riverside, however Newport Seashore-based proprietor Miguel Baeza has discovered a location nearer to residence. Palenque has taken over the area previously occupied by The Hub.

Serving dinner nightly and weekend brunch, Palenque presents one of many largest alternatives of tequila and mezcal within the space with craft cocktails and Mexican dishes in an impressed open lounge.

“We wished to maneuver away from Day of the Lifeless imagery and incorporate inspiration from the areas in Mexico the place mezcal is made, and we wished to work with native, famend designer Davis Ink,” mentioned Baeza, who owns a number of eating places in Riverside and Lengthy Bech which have nightclubs hooked up to them.

Palenque is concentrated on delicacies, Baez mentioned, though the restaurant is open late.

“Palenque has a heat environment that brings the outside into the inside,” he mentioned.
Translation: the restaurant seems like an open lounge with eating out there on the patio or contained in the sprawling, open eating space.

Taco Maria Ties

Govt Chef Rolando Rubalcava—previously chef de delicacies at Michelin-starred Taco Maria and creator of Rojo’s Scorching Rooster—places his spin on carne asada, carnitas, chile verde, ceviche, fish tacos and different dishes, using one of the best native produce and high quality meats to supply a complicated tackle Mexican delicacies.

“I wish to put this place on the map,” Rubalcava mentioned. “It has potential. At Taco Maria, individuals didn’t perceive why they had been paying $5, $6, $7 for a taco, though it was freshly caught black cod, sea bream, Hamachi.”

Taco Maria closed its spot on the South Coast Assortment a number of months in the past, and Chef Carlos Salgado is reportedly on the lookout for a bigger location to restart operations.

“Individuals can pay $5 to $7 for a cupcake however not for a taco,” Rubalcava mentioned. “Taco Bell has tacos for a few bucks and they’re making a revenue, however—you get what you pay for.”

His focus is on the Oaxaca area of Mexico, residence to a number of the greatest meals and mezcal within the nation.

The OCBJ Evaluate: By Christopher Trela

I sampled a few of Chef Rolando Rubalcava’s delicacies after I visited Palenque a number of months in the past, after they opened earlier this 12 months.

Rubalcava began my culinary journey with ceviche tacos that includes Hamachi.

“Use your palms,” he insisted. “Meals is a celebration so get in there and use your palms.

Meals is a necessity, if carried out proper its intimate, you enable us to place one thing we create into your mouth. My mother informed me you cook dinner along with your coronary heart and the temper you’re in, if you’re in higher spirits, it interprets to the meals.”

He adopted the Hamachi with taco dorados, which he mentioned was certainly one of his father’s dishes: floor beef dry aged with spices, oregano and cumin, tomato and onion, and bitter cream.

“We’re altering the simplicity, bringing it up slightly.”

Then got here my favourite dish: shrimp sautéed with recent garlic and white wine. “It’s sort of like garlic scampi meets spicy shrimp,” Rubalcava mentioned.

No matter you name it, my palate clung to that dish like a drowning man to a life preserver.
I sampled a number of extra dishes, together with a deeply flavored branzino and a pleasant tres leches topped with blueberries, strawberries and lemon zest.

Palenque: 1749 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa, (949) 402-9951,

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