A Stylish Sibling | Taco Mesa Tortilleria Organica & Cafe

Taco Mesa founder-chef Ivan Calderon nearly doubles the size of his Orange location with a new concept, Taco Mesa Tortillería Organica & Cafe, easily the most stylish of his four fast-casual eateries. Its menu has expanded, too, adding gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options as well as organic cold-pressed juices. Highlights, all served on beautiful ceramic plates, include blackened calamari, blue-corn lobster, and steak-and-bacon tacos; shrimp sauteed in a cayenne cream reduction; and a charbroiled skirt-steak picado; along with family-style sides such as papas, chorizo, and cheese. Even the carnitas—with pibil sauce, chicharrón, watermelon radish, and tomatillo—is thoughtfully presented. Superb house-made churros are served with a cup of warm chocolate dipping sauce. There’s a Modbar espresso station that serves Stumptown Coffee, and a pastelería that offers fresh-baked meringues, tres leches cake, and profiteroles. Breakfast items include(shredded beef with scrambled eggs. Expect something of a tortilla factory that can turn out 200-dozen tortillas per hour, also providing artisan GMO-free corn masa and tortillas to Calderon’s other restaurants, including the more upscale Taco Rosas in Irvine and Newport Beach. Prices range from $2.50 to $12. 3533 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, 714-633-3922

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