On a sunny Wednesday evening in May, a small delegation of South Orange County Surfrider Foundation members headed to Irvine to celebrate the newest addition to our growing list of Ocean Friendly Restaurants (OFR) — Taco Rosa, located in the Irvine Marketplace.

Founder & CEO Ivan Calderon — who is also the proprietor of the famous Taco Mesa in Costa Mesa — opened the doors to our group for a private happy hour fiesta.

Surfrider Ocean Friendly Restaurants Taco Rosa photo

Ivan created a custom menu to feed the crew and the happy group chowed down on a tasty short plate menu of GMO-free corn tamalitos, topped with papaya butter sauce and mango relish, corn sopes topped with jackfruit carnitas, black beans, romaine, pico de gallo, crema and queso fresco, and corn quesadillas stuffed with guacamole and Huitlacoche (corn fungi) and Oaxaca cheese. Nobody went home hungry or thirsty! Ivan even introduced the group to tequila tasting provided by Hacienda Tequila, the family-owned makers formerly behind the legendary Cazadores brand.

Surfrider Ocean Friendly Restaurants Taco Rosa photo

Alongside a few members of the SOC Executive Committee — Rick, Enich, Henry and Brad — the gathering also included Surfrider Foundation’s Director of Development, Spencer Campbell (and his Dad), not to mention Laguna Beach local surfer and realtor, Charlie, and his wife Tam from Sauté Magazine.

We are also very excited to announce that Lisa David will be joining our Executive Committee as the new Chair of the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program. Her inside knowledge of the food industry will be a perfect fit to lead our OFR campaigns.

These mixers are open to all SOC members, so keep an eye on our social media posts or visit our southoc.surfrider.org to get all the details. Thanks again to Ivan for hosting a great event.

Surfrider Ocean Friendly Restaurants Taco Rosa photo

If you know a restaurant in South Orange County that you think would make a great partner to our Ocean Friendly Restaurants program, send us a DM on Facebook or contact us at southoc.surfrider.org.