Officially serving its full menu as of January 6, Puesto brings a fresh, contemporary take on authentic Mexican cuisine to Irvine’s Los Olivos Marketplace. Inspired by the vibrant art, culture and energy of his native Mexico City, Executive Chef/Partner Luisteen Gonzalez sources local ingredients to create Puesto’s signature tacos made with crispy melted cheese, house-made corn tortillas and from-scratch salsas.
A family-owned concept, Puesto is run by Tacoteurs Eric and Alan Adler alongside their cousin Isidoro Lombrozo. Speaking about the new Irvine opening, Eric says, “We are thrilled to bring Puesto to Orange County. We’ve met so many special guests over the last five years that have yearned for Puesto in their neighborhood, and we are ecstatic to be here in Irvine for them and the community. We are excited to share our unique flavors, beautiful environment and culture to create a sensational dining experience.”
Puesto’s menu encourages guests to mix and match from an offering of specialty tacos such as the Filet Mignon Taco with crispy melted cheese, avocado & spicy pistachio serrano salsa, Chicken Al Pastor Taco with crispy melted cheese, hibiscus & chipotle tinga, avocado & piña habanero pico, vegetarian options such as the Zucchini & Cactus Taco with crispy melted cheese, zucchini, corn, tomato, cactus, avocado & cilantro-tomatillo, and sustainable seafood options like the Tamarindo Shrimp Tacos with crispy tamarindo-chile shrimp nestled in guacamole & cilantro. All of Puesto’s salsas are made from scratch using local ingredients, with tortillas made in-house using organic, non-GMO, blue corn masa sourced from local purveyor, Kernel of Truth.
To complement the taco selection, Puesto offers an array of inventive guacamoles and shareable plates, such as the Puesto Perfect Guacamole with Parmigiano-Reggiano and Crab Guacamole with lump crab meat. Other starters include fresh seafood options such as the Striped Bass Tiradito, resting in a spicy guava broth & sesame oil, accented with avocado, pickled manzano chiles & sea beans, and the Coctel Campechana, a seafood cocktail of local fish, shrimp, octopus & avocado, finished with tajin roasted peanuts. A handful of larger plates round out the menu. The traditional Carnitas Plate with fresh nopales salad is one of the highlights. For dessert, Pastry Chef Jessica Scott creates seasonal, modern interpretations of traditional Mexican desserts such as Tres Leches de Café with mascarpone whip, café anglaise & fresh strawberry.
Puesto’s extensive beverage program offers nearly 50 kinds of tequila and mezcal, 12 local and Mexican beers on draft, six wines on tap and specialty cocktails made with freshly squeezed juices and house-made liqueurs and sodas. Popular libations include the Puesto Perfect Margarita with blue agave reposado tequila, lime & agave nectar, El Mezcalito with Vida mezcal, Guanabana, tamarindo, lime & charred orange and La Rosita with house-made strawberry-cilantro infused vodka, lemon & cane sugar. Non-alcoholic options include refreshing agua frescas made from scratch daily and frozen horchata, of which Puesto donates $1 of each sale to a rotating charity as part of its Horchata for a Cause program.
Joining founding Executive Chef/Partner Luisteen Gonzalez in the Puesto kitchen is Executive Creative Chef Katy Smith. A SoCal native, Smith most recently worked with renowned chef Rick Bayless as kitchen director for season 10 and 11 of Bayless’ Emmy-nominated PBS series Mexico; One Plate at a Time. Smith also oversaw recipe testing and development for Bayless’ most recent cookbook, More Mexican Everyday, and served as culinary director of Bayless’ James Beard Award-winning podcast The Feed. Now at Puesto, Smith oversees creative menu development, tests out seasonal dishes and manages relationships with local purveyors.
Designed by famed San Diego-based designer Paul Basile, Puesto’s interior pays tribute to Mexico City’s vibrant modern architecture and design. From a gilded skylight illuminating hanging planters to a custom Aztec-inspired stone bar, the attention to detail creates layers of interaction that reflect Mexico City’s multisensory experience. Alongside the 250-seat main dining area, Puesto offers three “test kitchen” booths adjacent to the exhibition kitchen where guests are invited to taste test new dishes and indulge in an exclusive experience with the culinary team. For an al fresco experience, Puesto features a 100-seat, climate-controlled patio, complete with an agave plant fire-pit and a wraparound bar connecting the indoor and outdoor spaces.
ABOUT PUESTO: Born in Mexico City and built in Southern California, Puesto provides a fresh, contemporary and approachable take on authentic Mexican cuisine. Run by “Tacoteurs” Eric and Alan Adler alongside their cousin Isidoro Lombrozo, Puesto is known for its Mexico City-style tacos made with crispy melted cheese, house-made tortillas and from-scratch salsas courtesy of Executive Chef/Partner Luisteen Gonzalez. Puesto has been named “Best Taqueria” by Ranch & Coast, “Best Tacos” by San Diego Magazine, winner of the People’s Choice Award at LA Weekly’s Tacolandia in both 2015 and 2016. Current locations include San Diego, La Jolla and Irvine, with a fourth location in Santa Clara slated to open in summer 2017
Los Olivos Marketplace
8673-8697 Irvine Center Dr
Irvine, CA 92618
For more information, visit www.eatpuesto.com.
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