why not "the like?"
Because that doesn't make any sense, and because gosto as in (I) like is pronounced differently, the first O is open (like in hot).
Gostar (To like) abroads all kinds of things. - That's a verb. You can like a car, you can like a girl, you can like a food.
O gosto (the taste) is a noun, and means taste.
Why not "I like it"?