Carlos Salgado's magnificent 2016—a James Beard semi-finalist nomination, #5 for his Taco Maria on Jonathan Gold's list of the best restaurants in Southern California, #1 OC restaurant for the Orange County Register's ever-persnickety Brad A. Johnson two years running, and (most importantly) Best OC restaurant three years in a row for this infernal rag—is ending on a Reconquista note. Yesterday, The Desert Sun broke the news that Salgado has entered a partnership with Palm Spring's muy muy Ace Hotel to take over the menu at their King's Highway restaurant and Amigo Room lounge—BOOM.
“Our goal is to update and modernize the food a little bit and then bring many of the influences that come to bear on Taco Maria’s menu to King’s Highway,” he told reporter Jose Alejandro Bastidas. “While King’s Highway and the Amigo Room and other food offerings here sort of already have a natural Mexican-American tilt to them, we’re going to continue with that tradition and just sort of bring modern Mexicanism to the menu and also, really have fun with the environment that’s created here by the Swim Club and the surrounding community.”
His chef de cuisine there will be Carlo Guardado, who was last seen locally occupying the same spot at Playground, where his pop-ups were well-received by Playgroundistas. The new menu goes live in February, and while Salgado isn't heading up the Ace's cocktail program, he tells the Weekly he'll definitely have input.
We're waiting on a full statement from Salgado soon. In the meanwhile, congrats to a guy who truly deserves it—may 2017 bring more Taco Maria Reconquista across the land…