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.
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.