The Great Taco Quest 2014

This will be the last of my blog posts about my 30 Before 30 goals… even though I have another week before my birthday! I have already blogged about 24 of the items, so be sure to check them out through links on the above post. This post will be all about item number 24 from my original list, Ten Best SD Fish Taco Places. This item was really a ten-part item since I followed the article’s suggestions for fish tacos based on surfers’ suggestions. Before my 30 Before 30 project, I had already been to four of the listed restaurants. This left six new fish taco places to find and enjoy in San Diego County! I’ll start with a quick ranking for those of you who want the cliff notes. In parenthesis I’ll include the article rankings (I don’t agree with them completely).

1. Blue Water Seafood Market in Mission Hills (1)

2. Oscar’s Mexican Seafood in Pacific Beach (4)

3. South Beach Bar & Grill in Ocean Beach (2)

4. PB Fish Shop in Pacific Beach/Encinitas (4)

5. Rubio’s in… Everywhere (8)

6. Kotija’s Jr. Taco Shop in Leucadia (8)

7. Mitch’s Seafood in Point Loma (8)

8. El Zarape Restaurant in University Heights (4)

9. Brigantine in Del Mar (2)

10. Mariscos German in South Park (7)

My first issue with the article and rankings was that out of ten fish shops, they listed eight as being “in a tie”. Really? Your ranking system is flawed. But I digress. The biggest disagreement was with Brigantine in Del Mar. They raved about this place and its fish tacos. I don’t agree with either. In my opinion, it is an overpriced restaurant that has an excellent location but rests on its laurels. None of the food is that incredible and the fish tacos are definitely not the best thing on the menu. They come in a unique stand, but that’s it. So why isn’t Brigantine #10 on my list?

Because I really didn’t like Mariscos German. It’s a food truck, which is unique. But I got the Baja Trio as recommended and didn’t love any of the three tacos. The shrimp and fish were both fried in a thick dough that didn’t have enough crunch. The marlin was tossed with veggies in a stew-like concoction… no thank you. Obviously, these rankings are based on my personal preference and I didn’t love it. My dining buddies had meals that looked… okay? I guess? It was cool to sit in a parking lot with a stool as a table!

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Rubio’s ended up higher on my list than the article’s because I love Rubio’s. It’s fast food, I get that. But they claim to be the original fish tacos and I love them. I get the shrimp verde tacos which have an amazing green sauce on them and cabbage and no cheese. Cheese is actually a negative in my book for fish tacos. They also have a really good mahi mahi fish taco that is grilled with corn and a delicious white sauce. I’ve taste tested it before, check it out! Rubio’s also has churros for dessert… and if you get a kid’s meal, it comes with a mini churro. Bonus!

So why do I like Blue Water Seafood the best? Because the fish is FRESH. Like FOTB (fresh off the boat) fresh. And it’s a big honking slab of fish. SO good! And there are tons of choices of fish, not just one. And they come grilled. And the sauce is good but not too much. And there isn’t cheese. And it’s delicious, did I mention that?! Oscar’s Seafood was a close second because it also has healthy portions without cheese (they sub avocado!). I had the surf and turf taco and a spicy grilled shrimp taco. I’m not a spicy girl, so this was just enough kick without making it unpleasant. It might have also helped that we took the tacos to the beach to eat them!

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South Beach Bar & Grill was the first fish taco place I tried in San Diego County, and I still love it. There’s an awesome view overlooking Ocean Beach from the top floor and tons of tacos to choose from. My favorites are the mahi mahi and the wahoo. They are fairly small tacos, but cheap! And they come with a white sauce and cabbage and a salsa that I don’t get. The other places that I mentioned were exactly how the article described them… all were good and some were cheap and all were eaten. I will say that this list was fairly comprehensive for fish taco places in the county… I can’t think of too many places that were left off, but can any of you?!

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