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First Look: Calo Kitchen + Tequila Opens at South Coast Plaza

Restaurant Reviews

Calo Kitchen + Tequila is the latest addition to the expanding lineup of new restaurants at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. On an early Thursday night, guests were already lined up to indulge in their delicious Mexican cuisine and picturesque cocktails. 


About Calo Kitchen

This trendy new Mexican restaurant in Costa Mesa already has a loyal fan following from its two locations in Laguna Niguel and El Segundo. Calo Kitchen + Tequila is also owned by the same family that brings us the delicious Carmelita’s restaurants. Needless to say, this family knows a thing or two about authentic and fantastic Mexican cuisine. Many of their incorporated recipes have been handed down from Clemente’s grandparents who opened their first restaurant in 1962.

The Vibe

Upon arrival, I felt as if I’d been swept away to a tropical oasis. The restaurant is surrounded by lush greenery, lavish art deco chandeliers, and floor to ceiling displays showing off numerous bottles of high-end tequilas. The sexy atmosphere smolders with strategically placed fire pits throughout the restaurants and dim lighting to set the mood.



Pineapple Chili Margarita

All of the cocktails at Calo Kitchen + Tequila are Insta-worthy and dangerously delicious. The Grilled Pineapple and Chili Margarita is a refreshing and vibrant concoction made with charred pineapples, jalapeño, tequila, lime juice, and agave.

Strawberry Jalapeno

Next, I couldn’t resist trying their pretty in pink Strawberry Jalapeño Margarita made with fresh muddled local strawberries, jalapeño, tequila, agave, and fresh lime juice.



Birria Style Tacos

You’ll find an array of fantastic appetizers such as the Birria-style quesa tacos made with tender, marinated shredded beef. You’ll want to be sure to dunk each Taco in the flavorful homemade consume.


Shrimp Taquitos

A real crowd-pleaser was the show stopping shrimp taquitos topped with cream cheese, epazote, salsa quemada, cheese, pico, lettuce, and cabbage with an aioli dipping sauce.


Chilean Seabass

For entrees, I was in the mood for something light after overindulging during the Thanksgiving holiday. I ordered their light and delicate Chilean Seabass which exceeded my expectations. The Seabass was perfectly cooked and accented with an authentic Salsa Veracruzana made with fresh tomatoes, green olives, and capers which added a burst of flavor to this usually mild fish. 

Other favorites include their Shrimp and Lobster Enchiladas, Tampiquena de Carne Asada, Pollo Serrano, and Famous Carnitas. Everything at Calo Kitchen + Tequila is perfectly crafted, so you truly can’t go wrong with any entree you choose.



Tres Leches

I always say a meal is never completely without dessert and that’s especially true when the options include Tres Leches and Churros. Their Tres Leches is soft, moist, and swimming in a sea of the traditional sweet milk trio of condensed milk, evaporated milk, and whipping cream. It is topped with a thick layer of the lightest homemade frosting.



Their homemade churros are always a fan favorite and are served with a drizzle of chocolate sauce, vanilla ice cream, and a generous dollop of whipped cream.

With two prior locations in Laguna Niguel and El Segundo, Calo Kitchen + Tequila has already earned 5-star reviews and a loyal following. The Heredia family has truly solidified their reputation for bringing delicious Mexican cuisine to Orange County and their latest venture at South Coast Plaza is sure to be a huge success.


Location & Reservations

Calo Kitchen + Tequila

South Coast Plaza
3333 Bristol Street, Suite 1876
Costa Mesa, CA 92626


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About The Author

Sondra Barker is an established culinary writer, photographer, and recipe creator residing in Newport Beach, California. She specializes in covering fine dining and the most amazing restaurants in Southern California, Orange County, Los Angeles, and San Diego. When she is not writing about the local restaurant scene she is traveling and writing about her culinary adventures around the globe.


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I created this site for purveyor of exceptional eats and escapes; our team is always on a journey to find the perfect bites in the most wonderful places.

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