Chef Thomas Curran has unveiled Taco Brat—his ode to taquerias, brathauses, and beer gardens—with Grand Opening celebrations June 17-24, 2017.
Taco Brat—which took over the location of the beloved Taco Jr./El Taco at Harbor Boulevard and Hamilton Street—was redesigned extensively by Curran and Taco Brat Partner Chance Owen. The menu features craft beers and signature drinks, Mexican and German dishes, plus some unique mash-up items that aren’t found anywhere else.
The restaurant, at 2101 Harbor Blvd. in Costa Mesa, will operate 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sunday-Thursday and 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday & Saturday. Phone: 657.346.2005
Chef Thomas Curran was raised on great, homemade food in a household of adventurous
cooks. He learned classic technique at Scottsdale Culinary Institute and studied baking and
pastry at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France. He’s held several positions in his 25-year career,
culminating with the launch of Taco Brat.
Chance Owen is an apparel manufacturer in Los Angeles and met Thomas through friends a few years ago. The two crossed paths several times; Chance messaged Thomas out of the blue asking if he wanted to open a restaurant with him. The two planned a sausage concept, but the moment the current space on Harbor became available Thomas knew it “was obviously a taqueria.”
“As a white guy living in Costa Mesa, I have no business opening an authentic taqueria,” Chef Thomas said.” So, Taco Brat is my homage to all of the great taquerias around here, and all of the brathauses that aren’t.The menu is my perception of what I like to do with Mexican food and sausages. It’s a nod to everything classic, but I took some detours. The flavors are traditional, but we do some pretty delicious new things with them.”
Due to space constraints, the majority of Taco Brat’s sausages are made off-site, though the chorizo, special sausages and bacon are made there. Corn tortillas are made in-house using masa from El Metate. Corn Dogs are hand dipped. Bavarian Pretzels are bought from Germany.
Highlights of the menu include:
-GerMexican Nachos: tortilla chips, kartoffelpuffer (smashed-fried potatoes), sausage bites,
charro beans, Negra Modelo queso, bacon, esquites, guacamole, Taco Brat salsa, chicharron; served tableside
-GerMexican Burrito: GerMexican Nachos … in a large flour tortilla!
-Glazed Smoked Kielbasa Bites: sweet, spicy and tangy
-Tacky Bacon: house cured, smoked, candied Duroc bacon
-Bavarian Pretzel: HUGE, soft and buttery with Negra Modelo queso and spicy mustard
-Citrus Adobo Carne Asada Taco: charro beans, chili lime crema cabbage, pickled radish,
-Pollo Taco: Onion lemon marinade, grilled with charro, cool slaw, jalapeno
-Charro Dog: chili dog, Taco Brat style
-Stacked Tostada: triple layer tostada layered with choice of beans, choice of meat or fried
avocado, ranchero sauce, guacamole, greens, agave lime vinaigrette
-Fried Pie: housemade with seasonal fruit or cream filled, fried and glazed
Taco Brat serves beer on draught, cans and bottles. Highlights include Einstock Icelandic White Ale on tap, plus Mexican and German beers in cans and bottles. Por Favor from Baja Brewing Company will be added to our taps within the upcoming weeks after opening.
Taco Brat also offers a dozen specialty drinks featuring sabe blanco (tequila/sake blend), beer and wine. Wine is served by the glass or bottle. Non-alcoholic options include gourmet Stubborn Craft sodas and other specialty drinks, including horchata, ThunderKing Cold Brew, Fritz Kola Miscmach, Topo Chico, Mexican Coke and Shangri La Iced Tea. A full beverage menu is included in the dropbox file.
RESTAURANT DESIGN & MATERIAL SOURCING
Curran, Owen and several work crews refurbished the building, which was in operation since 1958, and one of Costa Mesa’s oldest restaurants. Tables were hand tiled, hand-painted tiles were laid, they decorated wood panels using blowtorches (a Japanese technique called “shou-sugi-ban”) and planted a 40-year-old olive tree to beautify the space.
They also redesigned the kitchen, added a beer bar with seating and made the entire restaurant ADA friendly.
“Everything was custom built right here,” Taco Brat co-owner Chance Owen said. “The pride is in refurbishing this beloved restaurant. It really would not have been like this without our designer Karen Fabian of Karen Fabian Designs in Newport Beach. The concept was ours, the design was her vision and together we’ve built something very special.”
For more information, visit www.tacobrat.com.
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