Descanso Restaurant

4.4
128 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
ONLINE RESERVATIONS ARE FOR PLANCHA TABLES ONLY (Where Our Chefs Cook at Your Table). For reservations in our standard Dining Room and Patio, please call or email the Restaurant directly.

Descanso is a modern taqueria in that it celebrates authentic Mexican flavors executed on a traditional plancha and prepared in front of you. You will come face to face with our Taqueros as a unique Mexican cuisine is made to order!

Seating Types:

PLANCHA
(Reservations Available Online)
Make a reservation at the Plancha Table for an intimate experience with your Taquero Chef. This is a multi-course meal option where each item is cooked in front of you!

Dining Room and Patio
(Call or Email Restaurant Directly For Reservations)
Make a reservation for our dining room or patio. Here you will enjoy options from our standard menu.

Taco Bar
The Taco Bar is an a la carte version of the Plancha. No Reservations; First Come First Serve.

Indoor and Outdoor Bar
No Reservations; First Come First Serve.
What 128 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.2
service
4.3
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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V
Las Vegas
29 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Concept is cool. But taste is average. Supermarket premade seasoning did not look authentic when used in front of customers. Lime or extra condiments were not readily offered at taco bar for guests. Flattened churo was very good. Aqua chili was too salty.

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r
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This past Sunday was our first time at the restaurant. Our party of 8 enjoyed the food and the ambiance. The chicharrones were a big favorite. We plan to return to eat at one of the planchas.

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GG
Orange County
28 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I REALLY enjoyed Descanso. Love the Plancha concept and interactive experience (though it is not as interactive as it could be). The food was excellent (fresh, warm, thick chips and chunky, smoky salsa, unique and tasty Chile rellenos preparation and presentation, tender, flavorful chicken and perfectly cooked veggies). Atmosphere was good - cozy but fun even around a big plancha table. Liked everything about it and look forward to going back soon!!!

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OT
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The hostesses, wait staff and the taco bar cooks are very prompt, and friendly!
However, the bartenders are lacking in customer service, promptness, friendliness and then some!
We had to ask to be helped (were there around 4pm) only a few people at the bar. They were in the midst of a shift change so I do understand it takes a moment. I also understand that this could be relayed to the customer!
We received our first margarita (yummy) then another bar staff came on, he did not acknowledge us, ask how we were doing, if we needed anything. He was more involved chatting with the other female bartender.
I had to ask the female if we could get another margarita which she happily replied sure, and then she proceeded to leave the bar and started cleaning tables. The male bartender then asked if we needed anything which we replied, “the girl already asked us, and then she said oh yeah, sorry” so he made us our second drink, never picked up our empty glasses, offered a new napkin for cleaned up the chips and salsa bowls we stacked to be removed!
Another couple came in and they too had to ask to get a drink. Seriously? This is so irritating to me!
I love the food here, and the drinks but I do not care for the bar staff!!!
I will continue to come but next time I will ask for a manager and complain because it is so wrong for a bartender to not be attentive especially when it is slow!

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OT
Orange County
16 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Heard amazing things about this restaurant. First thing I noticed is that the interior decor was sort of plain nothing extraordinary.

We ordered cocktails which were excellent and they brought chips and salsa to the table which were also excellent.

We ordered the Elote as an appetizer and it was very good.

The main courses were also good. I ordered the sopes with steak and my friend ordered tacos.

We will definitely return because it was really good but it doesn’t really measure up to the hype. I have had better Mexican food for sure.

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GP
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

All I have to say is WOOW!!!
We found this place through FB and wanted to give it a try. We were blown away by everything. The cocktails were delicious. Instead of your typical chips and salsa, they give you a basket of home made Chicharrones and chips with an amazing, thicker than normal, charred red salsa that was soo good, we finished it all. Also, our server gave me a little box of Chicharrones to take home.
We all had different menu items and all of them were superb!! I had the Steak Alambres, which are kind of like fajitas, but everything is cubed instead of sliced. It was super yummy. They have home made white and blue corn tortillas that are just perfect. The Mexican fried rice was out of this world, with just a hint of chipotle cream on top.
Honestly, my mouth is watering just writing this review.
You have a new loyal customer for life.
Thanks for an excellent meal.

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TK
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Fun experience a little pricey for a casual dinner

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Had a great time! Would go again!

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MM
Orange County
17 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

The restaurant and bars area are nicely decorated. Their salsa is SO delicious, and they serve pork rinds mixed in with the tortilla chips for dipping (great option for anyone on Keto diet, since pork rinds are allowed). The guacamole is also delicious as were their cocktails. We sat at the teppan table, and it was fun to try, however when I return I wouldn't sit there again, just because the expected experience didn't equate to the actual experience. Great concept, but teppan and Mexican food just don't work, per se, as nicely as the Japanese teppan restaurants. Our waiter didn't check much on us, so we had to flag him when we wanted our drinks and salsa bowls refilled, so that could be improved upon. The menu could use some finessing, meaning they don't indicate if you get rice or beans served with your dish (by the way, our dishes were accompanied by fried rice they create using their own flair, no beans though). The menu doesn't appear to let you split your 2 tacos into different meat types. I'd recommend giving this place a try ;).

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OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The service was excellent and food was great. Ambiance was great and will come back for the regular menu next time.

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NS
Los Angeles
20 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service is amazing and food is so delicious and worth the wait to eat at the plancha

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RG
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Already recommended to many of my friends and family. Descansos is one of a kind. Staff very friendly great atmosphere.

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MA
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best experience we have had. Loved the way they made food in front of us!

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b
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

For a change of pace, Descanso is a Mexican restaurant specializing in Michocan style food. The servers call it a show but the show is only for the fried rice and main course. They provide chicharrones and tortilla chips with salsa. Chicharrones were delicious, fresh and crispy. In the prix fixe plancha meal, you get your choice of soup or salad which is brought from the back of the house, fried rice, and a choice of entree.

Everything is well seasoned. Yes they use an abundance of salt and sauces. Fried Rice was yummy. The Mahi Mahi tacos were delicious.
I called it a Mexican Benihana but there is more of a show at Benihana. You engage with the chef more at Benihana.

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o
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

Food was marginal. Service was horrible: slow and inattentive. Took forever to get our drinks and water was never refilled. The server and cook both had no personality and weren’t very welcoming. We will never go back. Highly disappointing.

Descanso Restaurant
Responded on June 17, 2019

Sorry to hear that and their is no excuse for this... We will Address this ASAP. Rob

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Chef was super friendly and accommodating. Server was attentive without hovering. Food was delicious and the portions are generous.

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PG
Orange County
15 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday celebration!

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SB
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Third time celebrating a birthday! Can't think of a better place. Great food, drinks, service...the whole package! Plus, facilitated a staff dinner social, as well. It was a HUGE success! Awesome place to meet, celebrate, eat, drink...have a good time! Definitely brings to mind the term "GOOD TIMES!"

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m
Orange County
58 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It turned out to be one of their slower Sunday's for "La Plancha" brunch, however, that was fine as it was my first time there.

La Plancha Is a teppan style grill, just think Mexican instead of Japanese.

The experience was amazing. The food and service did not disappoint!

Had the Huevos Rancheros with steak, as well as fresh guacamole. Simply outstanding!

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C
San Diego
9 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came here with my family for a belated Mother’s Day meal. We ended up sitting at the Taco bar. The food was excellent, I had Fideo soup, tasted just like my mom used to make it and Sopas with steak. Everything tasted very authentic and our server was very attentive and helpful. Everyone enjoyed their meals. I will definitely come back , and want to try their Happy hour too !!
This is a great place for really authentic Mexican food , and the atmosphere is good too .

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CS
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The restaurant looked great, we were seated right away with our reservation. The waiter was phenomenal! He was on top of everything including table allergies. The chef was a little bit of a disappointment though, he wasn’t very entertaining & wasn’t the best at listening to the waiter about the shrimp allergy at the table. If you have an allergy I would make sure you are paying close attention to make sure you’ll be okay, because I can’t say this chef will (I don’t remember his name). Besides that everything was great, I had the steak tacos & they were delicious!

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S
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really great food and atmosphere. We sat at the plancha table and It wasn’t quite ready at the time of our reservation so they gave us complimentary appetizers and were very apologetic. The restaurant was busy but the customer service was still outstanding. I’d def go back and recommend!! Loved it!

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e
Orange County
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our first Plancha meal. We had discerning international visitors with us and they totally enjoyed themselves. Although busy, our waitperson was on point. Acoustics were surprisingly good. Our table chef was friendly, skilled, pleasant and could tailor the dishes to our preferences. We'll be back!

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M
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a great time at the Plancha table! Never felt rushed! Will be back again

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LN
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Average food. Overpriced, and brunch menu was limited

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OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I’ve been waiting to come try Descanso’s since they opened but we couldn’t get our days set. So a year later, we made it! We ate at the plancha table. Restaurant is nice. Staff was great. It is very loud inside. Wax hard to hold a conversation with friends. Drinks were good. I like that they took time to ask each guess if there were any food allergies. Our group had carnitas tacos, steak alambres, pollo alambres, Fideo, rice, chips & chicharrones & of course salsa and guacamole. We ended the meal with bunuelos & ice cream with berries. Delicious. We will definitely be back!

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HS
Orange County
17 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Delicious margaritas and open face quesadillas

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MG
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Went on Cinco De Mayo and the restaurant was ill prepared for the crowd. Staff was overwhelmed and inexperienced. Service was expectedly slow but could have been better. Was given the wrong credit cards and bill. Music and ambiance was good and so was the outdoor setting for the celebration . We will come back again to give it a second chance. It was our first visit and had read the reviews in the OC Magazine and expected more.

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C
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Fantastic concept. Best machaca I’ve had. Poor check in

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S
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 2

Ate at a Pancha Table (same as a Japanese Teppan table)
Wait to be served water, chips, drinks was too long. Then another long wait to have our food order taken and another long wait before they finally came out to start. I think we were there an hour before they came out to cook.
Table adjacent to ours had VERY noisy people...so much so that we had a hard time conversing in our party - this is not controllable...so just beware.
Food was sub fair. VERY SALTY and just not tasty.
Had enjoyed a lunch in the regular dining room on a prior visit so thought this would be good and fun.
It was not.

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OT
Las Vegas
3 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 2ambience 3

I found it interesting of them to automatically assume we were getting a plancha. We wanted a private table and it took a long time to be seated and helped.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

We sat at the teppanyaki table. The cook and server were super sweet but the food was very heavy, in my opinion. We all left feeling over full. Before we had dinner we stopped at a bar for a drink and the bartenders were not friendly at all. We will not be going back.

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EV
Orange County
23 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The food was great, tasted fresh and the cooks were good. The service was a little bit lacking, but picked up more towards the end of the meal. The drinks are good and authentic, but pricey. Overall would be a great place for a party or celebration, but if everyone is having drinks, be prepared for the bill.

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CB
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We love the place , the food is fabulous, the staff try to get to know you and strive to make sure you are happy. We will definately be back with friends.

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OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on April 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great time at the taco table this evening! The taco chef talked to us while he was cooking our food and made recommendations for ordering. Beautiful restaurant. A little expensive. Overall a great experience.

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c
Orange County
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Descanso is a beautiful new restaurant. The highlight was having the chef prepare our meal at our Pancha table on the grill included in our table. It was a memorable experience. The restaurant was busy but quiet at our table. The food was excellent, and the chef asked us if we wanted to customize our order at no charge.

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TP
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tried to get in during dinner, but crowded on weekends. So we booked lunch. We had an excellent brunch and will definitely be back. Highly recommend!

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RW
Orange County
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service was amazing, definitely will be returning!

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OT
Orange County
8 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Experience the grill section was good

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S
Orange County
11 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

I would have liked regular tacos on the brunch menu...a little too breakfast driven.

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