Chef Ivan Calderon Earns ‘Ocean Friendly Restaurant’ Status

Chef Ivan Calderon, owner of Taco Rosa and Taco Mesa restaurants, continues his work in honoring and protecting the earth. Calderon has earned three of his restaurants, Taco Rosa in Irvine and Newport Beach and Taco Mesa Tortilleria Orgánica & Café in Orange, Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Restaurant status.

Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants (OFR) program works with restaurants across the U.S. to recognize and promote ocean-friendly practices for the protection of the ocean, waves, and beaches. Calderon is committed to being a catalyst for change in the restaurant community by increasing awareness, driving change in consumer behavior, and ultimately creating a scalable example of how to reduce the community’s plastic and water footprint.

“Our commitment has always been to honor our ancestors, our bodies, and the earth,” explains Calderon, who recently began making GMO-free masa and tortillas for all his restaurants. “In leading by example, we aim to educate our guests to be conscious of how their choices directly impact the health of our planet and inspire them to join us in being a force for change.”

Calderon’s restaurants met Surfrider’s mandatory recognition criteria including no use of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam, proper recycling practices, reusable tableware in-house, to-go utensils given only upon request; and eliminating the use of plastic bags. Calderon takes his commitment one-step further by ensuring his restaurants meet the voluntary guidelines set forth by Surfrider including eliminating the sale of beverages in plastic bottles, offering plastic straws only upon request, regularly offering vegetarian and vegan options, using seafood guided by Seafood Watch, and implementing water and energy conservation efforts.

To kick off his restaurants’ involvement in the Ocean Friendly Restaurant program, Calderon will host a celebration in conjunction with the Surfrider Foundation’s South Orange County Chapter on Wednesday, May 16th at Taco Rosa in Irvine (13792 Jamboree Rd.) from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. For more information about Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Restaurant program, please visit: For more information about the restaurants, visit and

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