Move over Teppan Grill, the Descanso Plancha is my new favorite!
Updated: Aug 23, 2019
Located in Costa Mesa on the outside edge of Mesa Verde Shopping center, where once stood a Souplantation, Descanso is in a brand new beautiful with ample parking out front.The interior is spacious and has super high ceilings, but was warm with a sophisticated Mexican decor. The large bar is fully stocked and ready for all your cocktailing needs. They also have daily Agua Frescas that are top notch delicious!
So what is Descanso? You have two choices when dining at the restaurant. You can either sit at a regular table or you can sit at one of the Plancha's like I did. The easiest way to explain the concept is if Bennihana moved to Mexico. Instead of a Teppan grill its called a Plancha. However, the concept is the same. Delicious foods are prepared in front of you in a fun and interactive way.
When you sit down and view the menu, its a bit overwhelming. You're looking at the grill, you're talking to the other people at the table, you're watching the other tables who are in the middle of their dinners. So I missed a lot of the details that the menu had to offer. To help you in your first experience, let me break it down for you. You're served a total of five courses. Chips & chicharrone, soup or salad, rice and veggies, an entree and a dessert. Its a lot of food. Glancing at the menu, it doesn't seem like it, but the delicious chips and chicharrone alone filled us up. The server tried to warn us. We should have listened. We were stuffed and took a lot of leftovers home.
Your meal starts with a basket of fresh tortilla chips , Pork Chicharrones and Salsa Frita. Between two of us we ate a basket and a half. The Chicharrone and Salsa combination was on point! Try to not fill up on this like we did!
Next you have a choice of either Soup of Salad. The soup choices are Caldo de Hongos, a mushroom soup or Fideo which I got. It had toasted noodles, Tomato broth, Avocado, Refried Pinto Beans, Crema, Tortilla Strips and Queso Fresco. It was sooo good and a bit filling so again be careful to not fill up too early. The salad choices include a Caesar Salad with a spicy caesar dressing or a Mexican Slaw with Jicama, Red Onion, Chayote, Green Mango and Red Bell Pepper. I didn't try it, but it sure was pretty!
The Next Course was a combination of Mexican Fried Rice with a spicy mayo drizzle and Grilled Veggies of Snow Peas and Squash. So much flavor and our Plancha Chef grilled the veggies to perfection! Soooo Good! Are you full yet? We were...
Liked I said earlier, we were warned by our server that it was quite a bit of food. However our hungry bellies did the ordering. In addition to the below main courses we both ordered, we got a half order of thSirloin Steak Quesadilla. It's not like the traditional American Quesadilla that you're used to seeing. This one actually is a single flour tortilla then a bed of fried cheese followed by a huge serving of carne asada, Queso Fresco and fresh greens. Its more like a fried cheese taco...you call it what you want. It was amazing!
For my main course I ordered the Pollo Asado Alambres. Because of the presentation, you can't see all the yumminess factors that it takes to build this dish. There is diced Chicken, Poblanos, Onions, Bell Peppers, Bacon, Salsa de Avocado y Chile Toreado and then 3 different cheeses are fried on the grilled and placed on top. It was amazing and totally Keto friendly if you skip the housemade tortillas...I didn't I ate all of those lovely babies!
My plus one got the Sirloin Steak Tacos. Now, these aren't street tacos. These are substantial. Most items on the Plancha menu give you the choice of 2 or 3. Unless you've got a heavy weight weigh in coming up, I highly suggest the 2 portion. With all the other food provided, you're going to be rolling out of there. Oh, back to the tacos...so these are sirloin steak is grilled on the Plancha, then served over housemade corn tortillas and topped with grilled nopales and Salsa Frita. So much flavor soooooo filling.
Protip...ask for the Salsa Platter. They will give you a small portion of each one of their salsas and sauces for you to dip into and try.
Last but not least, dessert. It was a Mexican Sweet Bread Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich. The Sweet bread was slightly crisp on the outside and tender inside. They do give out a different dessert if its your birthday. Some kind of churro with vanilla ice cream. It look fantastic! From my understanding, the desserts will be seasonal so check with your server to see what is available on your visit. We had so much fun when we came here, but I openly admit it was partially because of the people we had at our Plancha table. My plus one, Hop, who always makes me laugh and there was the nicest family who laughed with us while we were doing our annoying foodie thing. Yet, I can see how the experience would change if you had a few duds at the table. Yet, at the end of day, the food is good and the servers are nice and the Plancha chefs are fun. I would fully recommend Descanso for both dinners with your friends, sexy date night and celebrations.
I will most certainly be back!
1555 Adams Ave, Ste 103 Costa Mesa, CA 92626
The food at this restaurant was provided complimentary or at a discounted price, however all opinions are 100% mine. A free meal does not buy a good review.