Reserve Your Seat at This Delicious Costa Mesa Taqueria

Written By: Ameihia Turingan
Photography Provided By: Descanso Plancha Grill Experience

Since November 2018, Descanso Restaurant has elevated the dining experience through its service and delicious Mexican street-style food. Inspired by teppanyaki restaurants and the traditional plancha flat-top grill, Descanso brings a flair to modern Mexican cuisine by offering authentic and fresh ingredients served “a la plancha.” The phrase, which means “grilled on a metal plate” in Spanish, is translated into a dining concept where guests sit around a communal table with a built-in grill. Throughout the multi-course meal, diners watch as their taquero chef creates mouthwatering meals right in front of their eyes.

What was an integral part of the restaurant’s ambiance was put on pause earlier this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Owner Rob Arellano and the Descanso staff have since been preparing for the plancha’s return. They anticipate the relaunch in November, depending on Orange County restaurant guidelines. “The plancha experience is really the heart and soul of our concept, and it really is what people get excited for and come here [to try] from all over,” says Arellano. “We’ve had people travel hours to come and do this experience, so it’s something that we are really looking forward to bringing back.”

The plancha dining meal begins with an appetizer of a tasty soup or a fresh salad before the taquero creates your main course. While the team is still finalizing the new seasonal menu, you can expect high-quality cuts of meat that will sear effortlessly on the hot grill. In the past, Descanso has offered proteins like seared slow-cooked pork, ribeye rolls and lobster with freshly made salsas and local, seasonal vegetables. Arellano recommends that guests try the queso frito option that adds a fried cheese blanket to the main course item. “We have a tres queso blend—our secret fried cheese layer,” describes Arellano. “On any of your dishes, you can get this added to your meal. You can make a quesadilla or cheesy taco.”

Native Knowledge: Descanso also offers the plancha experience for Sunday brunch with potatoes and fruit as the first course options. Previously, main course items have included huevos rancheros, chilaquiles and al pastor alambre.

To augment this experience even further, Descanso serves craft cocktails, beers and wines that pair well with the hot dishes. Crowd favorite margaritas include the Bad Hombre, a spicy drink with serrano chile, pineapple, agave, lime and Herradura Double Barrel Reposado Tequila that Arellano and his team source from Mexico. For a more refreshing drink, go for the popular Cucumber + Sal, where the El Tesoro Silver Tequila is infused with fresh cucumber and mixed with cilantro syrup, lime and black sea salt.

Native Knowledge: The upcoming plancha grill experience will include protocols such as physically distanced tables, smaller room occupancy, staff members wearing masks and chefs cooking six-feet apart from guests. The cooking hoods above the table cooktops will also assist with air ventilation. Plancha Grill Experience

No matter what combination you choose, the plancha experience is a feast for the taste buds and senses. The smell of the sizzling meat and fresh chilies, the vibrantly colored salsas and the conversations with the chef and guests create a tantalizing, immersive environment that can’t be missed. “I’m always looking to please all the senses of our guests,” says Arellano. “That’s the whole idea of this experience…  It’s the sound, music, the smells, the tastes [and] the flavors.”

Descanso Restaurant
1555 Adams Ave, Ste 103
Costa Mesa, CA 92626 Plancha Grill Experience
714.486.3798 Plancha Grill Experience

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