I have been a fan of Taco Mesa in Orange for many years. I was more than excited to hear that the owners of Taco Mesa were opening a restaurant in the Tustin Market Place.
Taco Rosa is unique. From what I hear people either love this place or hate it. I lean more towards loving this place, but it was probably because I was in a big fan of Taco Mesa and I counted down the days to try it out the new restaurant for the first time. I believe the reason that people love or hate this place depends on what time they visit.
Taco Rosa is a great place to visit during happy hour (2PM-6PM and 9PM-close, Monday-Saturday). During happy hour, about half of the menu is 50%, which makes for some great and cheap eats.
Ordered were the Chicken Mole Enchiladas ($5.50) and Oaxaca Enchiladas ($5.50). The Chicken Mole Enchiladas were filled with more chicken that you would expect. It was a pleasant surprise. The Oaxaca Enchiladas, though not as filling, had a great taste thanks to the Oaxaca cheese. The flavors just seemed to work together even though its the opposite of the greasy, overfilled with cheese enchiladas that most are use to.
On the side you find your typical beans and rice. I am a fan of pintos beans without a lot of grease, and more points for the crumbled cheese on top. The rice on the other hand was nothing special. Finally the sweet corn dessert was great, I just can’t get enough of it.
The interior of Taco Rosa is beautiful. The patio and bar, though small, are a great place to hang out and have a drink. I usually find service to be quick and efficient, but I usually only visit during off peak hours. One complaint I have is that the prices for happy hour seem to be raised every few months. This is not a way to bring in new and returning customers and sometime makes me wonder how long this place can stay in business being so empty during the day.
Would I pay $11 for the enchiladas here? Probably not. The prices do not justify the quality. But during happy hour, I believe this is a steal. So plan your visit during the right time and I think you will lean towards loving Taco Rosa.
13792 Jamboree Rd
Irvine, CA 92602