An extraordinary 2015 just got even more extraordinary-er for Carlos Salgado, the man behind Taco Maria. After beginning the year with 2014 awards for Best Restaurant in OC by both this infernal rag and the Orange County Register and a spot in Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold's Top 10 list, Salgado was named one of Food and Wine's 10 Best New Chefs for this year.
Then came this week.
He began by winning our Triple Crown in our 2015 Best Of Issue: Best Restaurant, Best Taco, and Best Mexican Food, a feat even he will probably never win again. Then, Gold's annual 101 Best Restaurant List emerged, with Salgado getting the #2 spot. Think about it: an OC place beating nearly every other restaurant in Southern California with fabulous tacos, stunning indigenous meals, and ever-magical aguachile. (also making the list from OC: Playground, Garlic and Chives, and Brodard Chateau). We can't afford a Times subscription, but this is what Mr. Gold had to say about Salgado's aguachile last year, when Taco Maria was just #72: "Then again, if he sold his fiery kanpachi aguachile from the window of a truck parked in Santa Ana, he might have a line of mariscos-crazed regulars stretched around the block."
And to top it, off, Salgado got married this weekend in the desert. AH…congrats to Carlos, who deserves all the accolades in the world. And if 2014 was great and 2015 awesome, imagine what 2016 will bring…DESMADRE!!!