Friday, May 14, 2010

Coming of Age… Fish taco edition.

San Diego is known for its fish tacos. Ron and I had our token fish tacos when we arrived, and almost always take our house guests for the token San Diego fish tacos. However, recently we’ve started taking our fish tacos a little more seriously, and now have a much better appreciation for how amazing, mistaken, or how horrific these little morsels can be. Not just that, but we now know (a) what garbage we fed our guests (sorry!) and b) what a truly delicious fish taco should be.

Some may balk at my credentials. First, I will never be a San Diego native. Second, I’ve been here all of what, maybe a cumulative year or two? Third, as any good Canadian, I like ketchup on hotdogs. That being said, I’ve eaten a butt-load of fish tacos, and can’t help but view my opinion pretty highly. The following are my ratings the worst, and the best fish tacos I’ve had around town. I’ll start with the worst and make my way to the best. Do with it what you will.

The Worst
Don Chuy (Solana Beach).
Horrible. fish. taco. Thank god they had beer. First the chips were thick, stale and greasy in a dirty-fry-oil kinda way. The salsa tasted and looked like cheap ketchup (recall what I do to hot dogs) with a bunch of spice. And the fish taco, OMG, the fish taco. Tortilla, fine. Cabbage and pico, fine. Fish, a) clearly spoiled, and b) clearly under cooked. Ick. Don’t ever go. It gives me shivers to think about.

The Not Great
South Bay Bar and Grill (Ocean Beach).
I’ve got to give South Bay props for good beer and atmosphere. It’s a great place to have a drink and smell the beach. South Bay’s fish taco’s got them into Bon Appetit magazine's "Best Restaurants in America" issue, so we had to check them out… a few times. The conclusion? Meh, I’ll stick to beer from now on. Why? First, they use flour tortillas. Sacrilege. Second, they put a lot of cheese in places no cheese should be forced to go. Third, they smother their wee tacos in ranch dressing, Sysco ranch dressing. Finally, although the fried fish is tasty (like any fish-and-chips fish is tasty), the grilled fish is overly salty having been marinated in soy sauce. Four strikes, South Bay.

Um, now that I’m ¾ through a glass of wine and have a belly full of fish tacos, I really don’t feel like blogging anymore. Above is a pic of my tied-for-2nd favorite fish taco, and I promise to tell you about it and my very favorite fish tacos tomorrow. Does this qualify as f#%king (see how I'm keeping it clean?!)it up?

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