Isa Habla Fresh! From Scratch Daily With Whole, Wonderful Ingredients
By Kay Schroeder
Irvine,CA (Perfect Meal Today) 4/5/17/–New Year’s Eve 2016 offered Orange County another reason to celebrate with the opening of Puesto at Los Olivos Marketplace in Irvine. The Mesoamerican architectural-style restaurant is reminiscent of contemporary Mexico City. Principal Lead and Designer, Paul Basile is often referred to as “the brick and mortar guru” of San Diego. His commercial, hospitality and retail projects have received wide-ranging critical acclaim as well as multiple awards for Interior Design, Transformative Design, Adaptive Reuse, Sustainability and Divine Details from organizations including the American Institute of Architects and San Diego Architectural Foundation. Paul’s design-fingerprints can be seen throughout the restaurant in the indoor and outdoor bars; steel agave fire pit; black and gold quartzite bar; skylight; gorgeous greenery; and the beautifully made, hand-poured concrete tiles.
While dining, be sure to take time to view and enjoy the colorful, bold art by Craig and Karl.
For the all-time favorite libation to accompany Mexican cuisine, here are Puesto’s Margarita choices:
- Marg of the Month $12
- Puesto Perfect: Blue Agave Reposado Tequila, Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice, Agave Nectar. Add Fresh Strawberry or Mango ($2)
- Cardamom Cadillac: $16
Casa Noble Crystal Organic Tequila, Cardamaro, Fresh Squeezed Seasonal Organic Citrus, Agave Nectar
- El Mezcalito $12
Vida Mezcal, Guanabana, Tamarindo Soda, Lime Leaf, Charred Orange
- Spicy $12
Blue Agave Reposado Tequila, Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice, Agave Nectar, Jalapeno, Tajin Rim
- La Verdad $12
Blue Agave Reposado Tequila, Agua Fresca de Nopales, Lemon
My first visit to Puesto was for a Sunday lunch. Anxious to sample as many different items as I could, my choices were from the “Mix, Match & Enjoy Three” from the Tacos Menu: Tamarindo Shrimp Taco, Baja Fish Taco, and Zucchini & Cactus Taco. My overwhelming favorite was the Tamarindo Shrimp Taco that consisted of large, succulent shrimp with a tantalizing tamarind sauce.
As impressive as this taco was, I was even more impressed with the exemplary service and attention given to me by the wait staff. Two special requests I made were met with a desire to please and professionally followed up on to ensure that I was happy with the results. And, if that were not service enough, the very personable General Manager, Andrew Grantz visited my table to further ensure that customer satisfaction had been achieved. All of the above elements are what make a restaurant great.
(Psst: On your next visit, ask about seating INSIDE the kitchen.)
For more information this talented designer, visit him at Basile Studio: http://basilestudio.com/paul-basile/
For a look at Puesto’s complete menu: http://eatpuesto.com/locations/los-olivos-irvine-tacos/
For more information, checkout Instagram: @eatpuesto, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook.
Hours at Puesto, Irvine:
Sunday – Thursday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Friday – Saturday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Happy Hour: Monday – Friday 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm (Bar and Patio only)
Other Puesto Locations:
San Diego, La Jolla, and (Santa Clarita, coming soon)
Los Olivos Marketplace
8577 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618