Well I had a somewhat planned day off from my 8-5 job and had some time to head over to The Camp/The Lab. After a much needed haircut I headed over to The Camp and wanted to try out Taco Asylum. Born out of the mind of Chef Greg Daniels, he brings together 9 unique taco from flavors around the world.
On today’s visit I decide to try something a bit different. I was totally craving the Short Rib or the Pork Belly tacos, but decided to try out the Wild Mushroom taco as well as the Duck taco. Other items on his menu of 9 include: Grilled Octopus, Curried Paneer, Lamp, Corazon and Ghost Chili Pork.
I luv mushrooms. I luv pureed chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Put those two together in a tortilla and garnish with some fried chickpeas and you have something that wakes up your mouth and you can’t help but end that first bite with a “mmmmmmm”. In fact, the second and third bites end up that way too! The taco is warm with a slight crisp on the outside, but definitely tender throughout. Round that out with some parsley and it rounds out this earthy concoction! Can I have more?
Next up we have the duck taco. This was a very juicy taco with the juices literally flowing out of the taco and onto my table. I could smell the duck and the camembert cheese and I was saddened by the loss of the juice on the table, but what a lucky table! Haha. Tender pieces of duck in a flour tortilla, cheese and a few drops of Chef Daniel’s Ghost Chili Sauce is what sent me over the top. Just the right amount of heat from the sauce and the juicy duck had me licking my fingers after every bite. Again, I wanted more.
So let’s talk about the sauce. Chef Daniels has three hot sauces, each of which he makes himself. The Ghost Chili was the best. Definitely the hottest, but so worth it. This is the sauce made with the hottest pepper in the world, the Bhut Jolokia. Many think the habanero is the hottest, but it is not. I had about 5 shakes of the bottle on my duck taco and it was enough heat to waken my taste buds, but it wasn’t enough to mask the great flavors of the duck – which I appreciated.
Chef Daniels makes sure that all his ingredients are made with local ingredients whenever possible.
I’m beginning to think that I need to move to Costa Mesa so I can just live at The Camp. Nestled in the complex along other favorites like the Old Vine Cafe, ECCO, Native Foods and East Borough. Stop by the Taco Asylum NOW! The host Happy Hour Monday thru Friday from 2-6pn and then again from 9-11pm. During Happy Hour all tacos are $1.00 off, there are $3 draft beers and $2 off cans.n They have a great selection of beer and your not so run of the mill sodas and juices. Now that I know they are open late, this could be a new mid-evening snack place.
Simple food crafted to bring unique flavors in a setting that is equally simple and unique. There is nothing ordinary at Taco Asylum. They’re aren’t pretending to be something they are not. It’s just good food and drink, mixed with the expertise of a good chef and supporters.
I’m heading back for another wild mushroom and to try the Pork Belly and Lamb!
2937 S. Bristol Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626