Irvine >Restaurants > Taleo Mexican Grill
3309 Michelson Dr, Irvine, CA | Directions 9261233.672343 -117.844594
Neighborhoods: Irvine Business Complex
Amazing food, and Bar – I have been going to Taleo for a few years and I love the new look. Food is still amazing. Love the chicken salad and wine selection. I will be back soon!!
Great Breakfast! – Taleo has really good breakfast. I was surprised they had breakfast because I usually come for here for happy hour and dinner. I would recommend trying their breakfast if you are looking for a breakfast spot.
Great happy hour after work – wanna meet some sexy people after a long work day? go here! totally sexy place. food is killer. always parking! order the guacamole, then get the tacos for sure! highly recommended!
Incredible Service – Our service was great and the waiter was adorable. Ambiance was romantic and definitely recommended. For the music,,,I would recommend jazz or house and the people were cool. Portions were good.
Loved this place – Been twice for lunch so far. I liked the beef rib enchaladas. Nice smokey flavor and the meat was quite tender. I also had the fillet sandwich. It was good but they drenched it in mayo. I'd ask for easy mayo next time.
I like the dark laid back atmosphere. The prices are on the higher end esp for lunch.
I'd go back.
Taleo Grill in Irvine – Taleo Grill is an upscale Mexican restaurant with a big menu and a chef trained in Mexico City. This isn’t a little road-side taco stand, nor is it a cookie-cutter chain restaurant experience in the vein of El Torito. No, Taleo has a feel that’s all it’s own, in a large and open building with an extensive bar and plenty of seating. The patio immediately snagged our attention however, with its sunny tables and plush outdoor couches. We showed up at lunchtime on a Monday, and the place was buzzing, but it didn’t feel crowded at all.
We were quickly seated, and ordered a couple of cold cokes. As we sipped our drinks and perused the menu trying to decide what to order, the staff helpfully offered suggestions. Clearly, the carnitas were popular with just about everyone, and considered the restaurant’s signature dish. We were graciously provided with a sampling of a few entrees, and some chilly margaritas. That’s an important point; each and every sauce and the margarita mix is made fresh, every day, on site. You can really tell the difference in a dish when that element of freshness is there.
First off, the tortilla chips are made to order and paired with fresh salsa and guacamole. Again, the freshness shines through, even this early in the meal with just a basket of slightly oily, warm salty tortilla chips. The salsa had bite and the guacamole was creamy and rich as it should be. Next up was a tamale drizzled with a rich red sauce and sprinkled with some mild, crumbly Mexican cheese. I think it was a mole sauce, which isn’t something I’m a big fan of, but the richness of the beef and the soft corn of the tamale were so good I didn’t even mind. Then came the ono, carnitas and camarones. Whew. Just looking at this gorgeous food was a powerful experience. Never let it be said that Taleo Grill’s presentation skills are lacking. Big, succulent shrimp in a rich white wine sauce beckoned to me from across the table. The vibrant colors of the vegetables and the velvety hue of the sauce accompanying the fish were very eye-catching, and the carnitas were a vision of beauty. Imagine a thick, glistening, juicy hunk of pork that’s been slow cooked for hours and allowed to caramelize at the edges. It’s been given a gentle coating of tangy sauce, whether smeard on or marinated, I’m not sure. But this thing was perfect. No knives necessary here, the meat just comes apart with your fork and then melts in your mouth.
This review has been pretty carnivorous so far, but the other stuff deserves your attention as well. We had fragrant rice, some gorgeous roasted corn with herbs, thick slices of grilled toast for sopping up sauces, and margaritas that were clean and cool with just enough bite. Ever had a cucumber margarita? You can get one here, and you should, because it works! The rim is sprinkled with burnt orange-colored spices that set off the essence of cucumber.
Finally, we come to the dessert. Never have I had a flan such as this. It was bigger than I was expecting, with about a six inch diameter. It glistened in the sun with a tiny garnish of mint leaves, just begging for a spoon. It was perfectly creamy and only mildly sweet, without being runny or eggy or anything remotely unpleasant. I’m not normally into sweets, but I was feverishly scarfing bite after bite and dastardly Dave was experiencing the same thing; he managed to devour a good portion while I was chatting with the waiter. I didn’t have room anyway.
Fantastic Mole, Warm Rice Salad, and Guacamole – Not the usual Mexican food laden with heavy cheese on everything. Great enchilladas with red mole and warm rice salad. And, the best burger in town too!
Mexican like you've never had! – Taleo has a unique spin on Mexican food— the food feels really clean and bright. Sometimes, when you go for Mexican food (at least the Americanized version) it can feel really heavy, stick to your bones, etc. Not at all the case with Taleo. And they have this veggie mixture that is served as one of the sides...can't recall the name, but I could eat a vat of it. SO GOOD. And the carnitas. And the ahi appetizer. I could go on. It's one of my favorites.
Outstanding and Amazing! Best quality and taste in town!!! – We frequent this very authentic and clean eatery. It combines the tastes of the south with a twist of passion and excitement. You can't miss and you will be back. We love the carnitas and the chocolate cake for dessert. The chips and salsa are some of the best in the west! Make sure to get a few Margs! Homeade and tasty. 10 stars for us on this place...viva Taleo!
Taleo Is the Best in Irvine/Newport Beach!! – Taleo is my favorite place to eat (and drink)! Friendly waiters and bartenders, awesome food, great margaritas, and a fantastic wine list! There are so many GREAT dishes to choose from! The halibut with the strawberry/mango salsa is to die for! The Ensalada Taleo is so light, and fresh, with blueberries and choice of salmon, steak, or chicken is delicious! The turkey tamales are so yummy, and such a deal-- too bad they are only offered on a seasonal basis. The carnitas and guacomole rock. It is not your ordinary mexican food place; it is an upscale restaurant with fabulous food, friendly people & employees and definitely worth the few extra bucks! You have to try it! A friend purchased their Fiesta Pack for a party- a ton a food, a gallon of those awesome margaritas only for $100. Sign up on the Taleo Website, and you will receive discounts and news about special events. See you there for happy hour!
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