At $17 per pair, the arrachera tacos—the most expensive on Taco María’s menu—aren’t cheap. But they’re unlike anything you’ll find anywhere else in Orange County or the rest of the U.S. and maybe even Mexico. Served on thick, handmade blue-corn tacos in the style of central Mexico (the masa is sourced from heirloom fields), they are simple yet elegant: hangar steak and queso fundido with applewood bacon and roasted chiles. The smoky flavor of the steak and crispiness of the bacon dance elegantly with the heat of the chiles. We rated this the Best Taco of 2015 and still can’t figure out why we took last year off.
3313 Hyland Ave., Ste. C21, Costa Mesa, (714) 538-8444; www.tacomaria.com.
Readers’ Choice: Wahoo’s Fish Taco