New liquor laws in Utah mean an open bar at the new Taqueria 27 restaurant near Harmon's in Lehi. | Nicole Kunze

Kristin and Todd Gardiner have opened a fifth location of their popular Taqueria 27 in Lehi at 1688 W Traverse Parkway, the first with an open bar. The Gardiners kicked off the new restaurant with a VIP event on Tuesday, August 21, where they served freshly cooked chips and salsa, guacamole, and some of their most popular tacos.

“I love cooking this style because you can use everything you have at a fine dining restaurant and put it in a tortilla. People love tacos – you can really be creative with them. I like to call our food ‘Mexican-ish’ because we have all sorts of stuff that isn’t traditional,” explained chef and co-owner, Todd Gardiner. “We’ve never tried to fit into that mold of a traditional Mexican restaurant.”

Chef Gardiner is passionate about using fresh, local ingredients for the best possible flavor. “We have an heirloom tomato garden and we’re experimenting with micro greens right now. Everything we do is very fresh,” he said.

Turkey Chorizo Taco and Roasted Mushrooms Taco at Taqueria 27. | Nicole Kunze

The Taqueria 27 menu offers five different kinds of guacamole and the avocados are smashed to order. The traditional guacamole was just spicy enough, with generous chunks of tomatoes, jalapenos, and onion. The stand-out on the starter tasting menu though, was the fresh pico de gallo salsa, which had quite a spicy kick and tasted like it came right out of a backyard garden.

The homemade tortilla chips were still warm and perfectly crisp. Both the Turkey Chorizo and Roasted Mushroom tacos were delicious, but the favorite at our table was most definitely the Roasted Mushroom Taco. There were a variety of mushrooms, all roasted in garlic, with crumbles of gorgonzola cheese and crispy leek strings. The combination of textures and flavors was unexpected and so good we had to ask for more.

Chef Todd Gardiner has created other unexpected combinations, like a Duck Confit Taco and Grilled Pears and Roasted Beets Taco. The full Taqueria 27 menu is now available and their Lehi location is open to the public.

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