Taste & See started as a cooking school, with Chef Jason Febres providing instruction and classes in a small dining room built around a kitchen. TV cameras broadcast the grill and work area, making this a 180-degree open kitchen. It is hidden within the confines of the former Wichita Mall, Wichita's first enclosed mall (circa 1970), and the first of that type of structure to fall into disuse and neglect, only to be resurrected as a repurposed office park.
Tucked within is Taste & See. If you don't know it is there, it will be difficult to find. (Hint: Look for the Bethel Institute doorway and turn right after entering). Chef Jason is a native of Venezuela, and he brings his love of his mother's cuisine and a near reckless desire to experiment with new flavors and ingredients to this unusual restaurant. His not-quite-so-mad scientist approach yields flavorful and interesting concoctions of originality with a reverence for tradition and fashion. You will not get an ugly plate here. It is simply the best meal in Wichita and maybe the state.
The food reflects his mother's Latin heritage, with many influences. The Hamburguesa Latin Street burger, of Angus beef, smoked Gouda, avocado, bacon, and egg brings life to the old standard. Ceviche tacos and other seafood specialties such as the Oceanic Mac & Cheese (blue crab, shrimp, and scallops in a rich pasta cheese sauce) or the paella make one forget this is a land-locked state that hasn't seen an ocean since the late Cretaceous period. Of course, the Cesar Tostada, of chimichurri goujons and fried panela cheese, along with the Gaucho Churasco steak feature the region's specialty, beef.
All together, the menu boasts of influences from Europe, America, Italy, the Caribbean, Venezuela, Cuba, Argentina, Asia, Caracas, Baja, Peru, Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Mediterranean, and Greece. It's all good.
Desserts are special, too. Pieces of banana wrapped in crispy phyllo, served with a chocolate hazelnut sauce and honey will make you feel better than anything else you will do that day.