I’ll give my take on Taco Maria. It is, at the moment, my favorite restaurant in the Los Angeles area. Yet there are some annoyances…
The increase in price is a big deterrent for a few reasons. First off, I believe the rise in prices leads to a less daring menu. A 39 dollar menu or even a 52 dollar menu can afford to have a few dishes fail. Such an ability to fail allows Chef Salgado to take risks, showcase more ambitious dishes, etc.
But when the menu is 65 or whatever it is now, I feel Salgado feels that everything should be perfect. So he ends up serving these dishes for every fucking meal, regardless of season because he knows how good they are. And some of these dishes are brilliant. I adore the porridge which has become an absolute staple of the menu. Yet, how is the restaurant improving if he serves the squid taco 150 nights in a row? I think it’s great that he serves an amuse bouche. But why is it the exact same thing it was two months ago
Another thing I’ve been very bummed about is that as prices are going up, he’s skimping on some ingredients! The campechana used to have abalone. It hasn’t the last few times I’ve been there. The crab porridge used to have finger limes which honestly were a vital component of the dish. No more! What gives?
Also, it’s outrageous they don’t have a dessert, though I think the atoles are fantastic.
So long story short, if you’re gonna charge that much money, vary the dishes and try things and serve fucking dessert.