Baja style Fish Tacos! Junkfoodie is back…

Sorry for not posting in so long, but Junkfoodie is alive and well, if a little busy. Let me start this post by saying the best Baja style fish tacos I’ve ever had were in Ensenada, at a little stand way off the tourist beaten path, not far from “La Bufadora” or the “Blowhole”. This was about 20 miles from the center of Ensenada, and the shack, or tent really, had an old American man and his Mexican wife making tacos on what looked to be a couple of old metal road signs over a gas fire. On one old sign, he had hammered an indentation large enough to hold maybe a half cupful of oil, which he used to fry up the fish tacos. He hand dipped the fish, which he claimed was right from the waters which his stand overlooked,  to order in his wife’s recipe batter, and carefully placed it into the hot oil. After turning it a few times, he laid the fish onto two corn tortillas along with shredded lettuce and cabbage, and drizzled the whole thing with homemade crema sauce. A spoonful of fresh pico de gallo, and for $1 US, you had a perfect 3 bite fish taco while overlooking the Pacific ocean. I guess this would be the topic of another post, so let me get to the point of this post.

The closest thing I’ve found so far since then is at Taconazo in the Los Angeles area. Taconazo is a mini-chain started in La Puente, CA back in 1978. Since then, they’ve grown to like 8-9 locateions, and the one I went to was located in South El Monte at 9516 South Garvey Ave.

I ordered the fish taco plate with rice and beans ($7.97 for 3 or $6.38 for 2), the fish ceviche tostada ($3.19) and the small shrimp cocktail ($6.99).taconazo

The comblo plates all come with their signature fried peppers, which are chiles rolled in salt& pepper, then quickly deep fried. The fish tacos were indeed Baja style, with nice, firm fillets of whitefish, battered and fried to order. Eat these quickly as the batter is best wile still hot. The cabbage and sauce need a little help, and the salsa bar is just so-so, but the star of the taco is really the fish fillet. Flaky and moist, it was as close as i could find to those in Ensenada.

ceviche tostada

ceviche tostada

The ceviche tostada ($3.19) was just okay. I had to try it in case I missed out on the next great bite, but the fish was a little tougher than I would have liked, probably because it was marinating too long since it was near closing time. The portion size was pretty decent, and the fresh avocado was a nice, creamy complement. One good thing was that the ceviche was not too watery, so the tostada remained crunchy. I did add a little hot salsa, and it was passable, if not perfect.

coctel de camarones

coctel de camarones

The shrimp cocktail was very good. The shrimp were large, clean and not too tough. The sauce was nicely balanced, not too sweet, with a little tang like I like. The other bits in the cocktail included large chunks of avocado, cilantro,  and shredded onion. I would have liked the cilantro to be chopped, and the onion bits to be larger, but I guess that is nitpicking. The small size cocktail ($6.99) was generous, especially when eaten with the combo plate and tostada. all in all, worth a slight detour if you are near one of the Taconazo locations in Socal. You could certainly do a lot worse for fish tacos.


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