If you've been in the OC Mix lately, you can't help but notice the billowing plastic sheeting next to the Cheese Shop, where Taco Maria is turning a normal retail shop into a full-scale restaurant. The restaurant is moving toward a summer opening (said to be July 15, but it might be more like Aug. 1). We're all Mexican-food junkies desperately waiting for our fix of owner Carlos Salgado's cooking, now that the truck has been parked.
In the meantime, though, Salgado has launched a Kickstarter to fund the actual furnishing of the restaurant. Kickstarter has proved to be a fantastic resource for chefs; it allowed Rachel Klemek of Blackmarket Bakery to ramp up her production immensely and provided the base funding for Anahita Naderi's upcoming Santa Ana restaurant.
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As with all Kickstarters, you get gifts for investing, everything from Salgado's capsaicin-laced salsa negra and Hatch Chile hot sauce to free food, classes, invitations to special dinners, private dinner parties for 30.