Celebrated Taco Maria chef heads to Palm Springs

Chef Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria in Costa Mesa. Salgado signed on to be a culinary partner at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, where he's revamping the menus at the hotel's restaurant and bar.
Chef Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria in Costa Mesa. Salgado signed on to be a culinary partner at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, where he’s revamping the menus at the hotel’s restaurant and bar.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

From eating in the desert to a new izakaya in Echo Park, here’s what’s happening in the food and drink world:

Desert tacos: Chef Carlos Salgado, whose Costa Mesa restaurant Taco Maria has been among the top five restaurants on Jonathan Gold’s best restaurants list for the last two years, is heading to the desert. Salgado was recently named a culinary partner at the Ace Hotel Palm Springs, and he’ll be responsible for revamping the hotel restaurant and bar. The chef took over for Brooklyn’s Five Leaves, the hotel’s former food and beverage partner. Salgado’s new menus will be available Feb. 1. 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, (760) 325-9900,

For the record:

9:34 a.m. Dec. 4, 2023An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Charles Namba was the chef de cuisine at Bouchon. He cooked there but did not hold that title. Also, Nina Clemente most recently cooked at the the Plaza at the Standard, High Line, not the Standard in Los Angeles.

Koreatown favorite closes: Romero’s Mexican restaurant has closed after 29 years on Western Avenue. The small restaurant, which housed just a handful of tables and a small counter-top space, was known for its giant smothered burritos and combination plates. 516 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles, (213) 480-8438.


Blue Bottles: Oakland-based roaster Blue Bottle Coffee has opened another Los Angeles location, this time in the Bradbury Building in downtown L.A. This will be the company’s sixth L.A. cafe, with others planned for South Beverly and Los Feliz. As with all Blue Bottle cafes, you can count on excellent coffee; with that coffee, there will be Blue Bottle’s own pastries, and bread from Travis Lett’s Gjusta in Venice. 300 S. Broadway, Los Angeles,

Echo Park izakaya: Tsubaki, an izakaya by chef Charles Namba (formerly of Bouchon in L.A.) and Courtney Kaplan, is scheduled to open in Echo Park at the end of the month. The restaurant takes over the former Kush Sake Bar space. Instead of sushi and ramen, expect seasonal plates meant to be shared. All the food is designed to be accompanied by beer, wine or sake. Kaplan’s beverage program will include small production sake and spirits, along with chu-hi (a shōchū -based Japanese drink) cocktails made with juice and barley spirits. 1356 Allison Ave., Los Angeles,

All smiles: Partners Matt Kliegman, Carlos Quirarte and Melia Marden of the Smile and Smile to Go restaurants in New York City are opening the Di Alba restaurant in the downtown L.A. Arts District on Wednesday. Chef-partner Nina Clemente, who most recently cooked at the Plaza at the Standard, High Line in New York City, will be making focaccia with seasonal accompaniments and salads. The restaurant will be open for breakfast and lunch daily. 827 E. 3rd St., Los Angeles, (646) 329-5836,

Still hungry? A location of the Cajun Creole restaurant the Oyster Bar SKC will open in Pasadena. Sweetgreen has opened the Lab test kitchen in addition to its new location in Culver City, where the company will test and create new menu items.

Chocolate Malted Krunch fan for life. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram @Jenn_Harris_



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9 a.m.: This post has been updated to remove a reference to Shuhari Matcha Café’s plan to open at Westfield Century City. The café no longer plans a location there.

This article was originally published Jan. 3, 2017 at 9 a.m.