Taco Asylum: Ghost Chili Pork Taco

Growing up in Southern California, young Greg Daniels loved spicy food. He would accept all sorts of dares from his brother to eat hot peppers and challenge his dad on who can put the most hot sauce on their food. Years later, manning his own restaurant, Taco Asylum in Costa Mesa, CA, it was inherent for Chef Greg, who also operates Haven Gastropub in Orange and Pasadena, to create the Ghost Chili Pork Taco made with a flour tortilla, pork cracklins, and topped with chili threads. He chose pork since it worked best with the ghost pepper, “We thought the pork was the best, since it’s fatty. And fat coats your mouth and makes heat linger longer. Between the fatness and the cracklin on top, you have a good delivery system for heat. I thought the ghost chili has a unique flavor, citrusy and extremely hot,” says Chef Greg.

Pro tip

  • Can’t handle the heat? Taco Asylum offers nine more tacos including: grilled octopus, pork belly, short rib, curried paneer, wild mushroom, lamb, duck, steak and more. Each taco will cost you one Abraham Lincoln.
  • Not enough heat for you? Three contrasting hot sauces are available for additional burn: cayenne, red savina, and ghost chili.
  • Every batch of the pepper is tested by the kitchen staff. It took a while for Chef Greg and his team to get the right amount of hotness into the taco, “the chilies weren’t consistent, one of them would be extremely spicy and the other one wouldn’t be too bad. We have to go by batch, if it wasn’t hot enough we had to decide on how much hot sauce we’re going to add before serving it.”
  • Order a taco sampler (smaller-sized tacos) for $18 to sample eight varieties of tacos they offer.
  • Pair your taco with a selection of handcrafted sodas, craft brews on tap and canned craft beers.