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Best Fish Taco in Ensenada in Los Feliz

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Yes, that's the name of the place -- Best Fish Taco in Ensenada, a bit of a mouthful. They just have two items -- fish tacos ($1.50), and shrimp tacos ($2.00). Pretty tasty little critters with a variety of salsas and relishes.
http://eatingla.blogspot.com/2007/07/...

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  1. I have a feeling this is the same guy who used to serve in the parking lot of the old market on Glendale in Atwater Village. (Now home to Starbucks.) His fish tacos were very good indeed.

    1 Reply
    1. re: annalulu

      Yes, he said something about being in Atwater but I couldn't remember seeing any fish taco place there.

    2. Munchy, Mr. Munchy, and the Munchkin were there in full force tonight. Tasty shrimp and fish tacos, made fresh. Proprietor insists you eat them right then and there. Innovative salsas that pair nicely with the tacos.

      Sounds like they officially open in 3 weeks. Til then, variable hours.

      A more long-winded review at http://cynematic.wordpress.com/2007/0....

      1. I'm happy this place is in the neighborhood (Hillhurst south of Prospect). It's an easy snack or a light meal- I've stopped in and had the shrimp and the fish - they give you the fish on the tortilla and you dress it yourself. Condiment bar includes cabbage, creme, salsas, (I like the hot mango salsa), a thin quacamole maybe?, pickled radish and carrots... Quick, cheap, tasty. Bizarre atmosphere though.

        3 Replies
        1. re: smonkey

          Very tasty. I thought it was kinda "bizarre" too and here's why:

          1. It's set up like a fast food place so you order at the register, fully expecting to pay up front. But then the nice lady says you pay later and she asks which one you want first (I ordered two fish and two shrimp). Then she gives you one taco at a time.
          2. I am not adept at describing interiors and this one has me even more bafffled. I know they're not quite set up yet (I was there last week Thursday).

          The bonus was when I went to pay, she asked me if this was my first time and if so, one taco is free! (please don't abuse it)

          So tasty, almost as good as the street cart fish taco I had in Ensenada but this will have to do. The next day however, I had the same Montezuma's revenge as I did from Ensenada.

          1. re: ladius

            Stopped by today. Though I admit that I am a recent east coast transplant with limited fish taco experience, this was by far the best I've had in my short adventures. The fish is hot, they give you one taco at a time. The condiments are good and the prices are low. I think that it beats Siete Mares, the other neighborhood option, six ways to Sunday. I'll agree that it's a little strange for a taco stand, but everyone was very friendly.

            1. re: badschiraldi

              I like that idea of one taco at a time. I wonder what happens when they get packed and you have to wait for taco #2 and #3...

        2. Do they serve beer?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Cubancoffee

            Nope, three items on entire menu: fish taco, shrimp taco, cans of soda.

            1. re: Chowpatty

              Love it also - whatever you do though, don't ask for to go orders. At lunch the other day a business woman was refused an order and left taco-less because owners said the tacos are meant to be eaten fresh and they won't do take out.

            2. re: Cubancoffee

              The Cap'n'Cork Liquor Store is 3 doors to the North.

              (In response to the beer question).

            3. Please confirm that the address I have (1650 N. Hillhurst Ave.) is near Hollywood Blvd. and the MTA Vermont/Sunset station. Google doesn't like that address :-(.
              Another great excuse to visit my favorite Jon's Marketplace!

              -----
              Best Fish Taco in Ensenada
              1650 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

              1 Reply
              1. re: DiveFan

                Never mind, found the above liquor store.

                -----
                Cap N Cork Junior Market
                1674 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

              2. No love for this place?

                Went here over the weekend. Decor is good, table setup is perfect for its purpose (munching on wonderfully tasty fish tacos). The pay at the end concept is odd at first, but perfectly reasonable after you finish. You go, buy a fish taco. Eat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Light breading on the fish, slighty toasty tortilla to add a little texture. Obscenely crunchy cabbage. Tasty radish relish.

                I'm not too big a fan of the salsas, as I think they detract from the texture, but they are pretty damn tasty and unique. The aftertaste though, omg, I could taste those wonderful fish tacos in my mouth hours afterwards. I crave. Badly.

                3 items on the menu

                1.50 fish tacos
                2.00 shrimp tacos
                1.00 drinks

                I could eat them all day. I want them. Immediately.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ns1

                  Why do you say there's no love? Every poster said it was good and tasty, despite the odd ordering system. If you mean in the last two weeks, the Hounds tend to all hit a new place at once and then move onto to the next new place.

                  1. re: Chowpatty

                    I say there's no love because there's only 1 thread ;)

                2. i love the one taco at a time philosophy.
                  this is what i do at tacos baja ensenada (#1 in my book)
                  and el taco nazo (#2 in my book)
                  when the lines arent outrageously long.
                  usually only one tortilla per taco to save stomache room.

                  gotta check it out soon...

                  1. Update. Paid our third or fourth visit last week and actually saw someone order -- and receive -- TWO tacos at once. I think the owner's lightening up.

                    Also, I spied a 12-pack of Tecate in the cooler.

                    Lastly, I've encoutered the pay-at-the-end honor system at other places. It's especially popular at some blue-collar oyster shacks I used to frequent in Houston. I think it helps the customers bond with the place, giving them credit for being honest about what they ordered. The food's so good, you wouldn't dream of lying.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Cubancoffee

                      we actually got 2 tacos on one plate the first time, but in from this point on definitely getting 1 at a time.

                      anybody actually know their hours now? tried to go on sunday but they weren't working.

                    2. Does anybody know how late this taco place is open?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: JimmyHolcomb

                        7-8 max. Still uncertain.

                        1. re: JimmyHolcomb

                          8:00 pm
                          They MAY change and stay open later on Fri & Sat nights
                          Closed on Mondays

                        2. the penguin hereby declares these to be the best fried shrimp and fish tacos north of the border!!! went today, got there just as they were opening just after 11. wife and i each had three tacos. fresh, delicious salsa's, etc., etc., etc.

                          the taco nazi does allow people to get more than one, but he discourages it because they get cool and the tortilla starts falling apart. we asked about beer and wine - he said to bring them, but there was a corkage fee - bring enough for him!

                          if he can keep this up, it will be a run-away best seller. place had a line by noon.

                          1. I got 3 tacos at one time! 2 fish and 1 shrimp. Ended up going back for one more fish. I thought they were good. Really good for LA, where there isn't much of a choice for that style. In San Diego, for example, I've had some amazing fish tacos that would rate higher than BFTiE.

                            I totally agree that the atmosphere is weird. The tables outside seem like an afterthought and I can't remember if there were any chair inside. The salsa bar could use a better presentation. Other drink choices besides cans of Coke and bottled water from Costco would also be nice. Since this is a storefront and not a 'stand' (like Yuca's), they really should do something to jazz the place up.

                            The tacos were good, the price was right. The atmosphere could use a little work. For a quick snack (we were going to the SGV and traffic was so bad we jumped off the freeway) this is a great place.

                            1. Went there Friday afternoon and I can't say that I liked them. I ordered three fish tacos and got all three at the same time. The fish was cooked already and just sitting there, all they did was heat up the tortillas.

                              The tortillas were too hard and dry for a fish taco. The salsa bar looked a mess ... no ice under the salsa bowls and nothing over to cover them. I think thats a health code violation. The cream was warm from siting outside all day. No chairs so I had to eat standing up.

                              I've eaten fish tacos in Ensenada and this in no way are the best fish tacos in Ensenada.

                              My favorite places for fish tacos are from best to worst :

                              1. Tacos Baja Ensenada in East Los Angeles.

                              2. Tacos La Bufadora in El Monte

                              3. El Taco Nazo

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: f_favila

                                I went to TBE yesterday to provide a proper comparison. TBE was good. VERY good. I thought it was quite authentic. That being said, I think they put a touch too much batter. It was very crispy, and like I said, fantastic..but I could do w/o the batter. They were, however, much "bigger" than the ones at BFTiE.

                                I like the BFTiE fish taco's because the batter is so much lighter, and you can control the amount of stuff that you can put on it. Anyway, BFTiE is a 10 minute drive, so that's my local spot for fish taco's. If I'm ever on the 5, then I'd make the trek to TBE.

                                1. re: f_favila

                                  I agree The tortillas are dry as hell and not fresh at all. The tacos are good with the shrimp tacos being better than the fish. If this place only made real fresh tortillas and not the store bought ones. It does have potential though for the area.

                                2. i went friday night for the first time before swerve festival...
                                  while its tasty and a nice addition to the neighborhood its not in the same league as tacos baja ensenada, which is itself, better than el taco nazo IMO

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: modernist

                                    eh, TBE is fantastic but I enjoy the lightness of BFTiE. I do however find TBE to be more authentic.

                                  2. Stopped today for 3 fish, 1 shrimp, 1 coke. Fish tacos are $1.50, Shrimp $2.00 and canned beverage $1.00. My standard of excellence is Gardenia's in Cabo San Lucas ( going from the airport to the town turn left at McDonalds, half way to The Office). IMHO in SoCal BFTiE is right there at the top with Tacos Baja Ensenada, but is definitely a different style. The Tecate six-pack someone mentioned they saw is actually for the batter. BYOB (Pacifico?) from the liquor store up the block. For you red line fans, BFTiE is a couple of blocks from the Vermont station. An easy trek. Taco Nazi? He seemed like a nice guy with a passion for the quality of his product - the tacos. People around me were able to order multiple tacos at one time. I stuck to the one-at-a-time method and had a better product as a result -- the use of a single tortilla and the multiple salsas leave you with the need to quickly consume this delicate morsel before it self destructs. Here are the reasons I believe these are at the top of the fish/shrimp taco heap:
                                    1) One tortilla and generous fish/shrimp portions make for an excellent blend of flavors and texture. My meats were hot from the drip rack.
                                    2) I prefer my cabbage very thinly shredded and BFTiE's is perfect.
                                    3) Beer batter is understated with a hint of spice and beer. Almost a light tempura beer batter. Thin and crunchy without the heaviness I have seen at some places.
                                    3) Non-traditional salsas (all excellent!) include a guacamole-based thin but chunky salsa, a pineapple (not sweet) with a great blend of peppers leaving a nice lingering burn, a slightly less spicy Mango, and something else mild I neglected to try. Finish it off with a shredded pickled radish mixture and creme. I prefer my "creme" mixture a bit tangy but theirs blends well with the salsas.

                                    A lone bottle of Tapatio graced one of the outdoor tables but I did not see a need. These are unique fish tacos and I would stick with their wonderful salsas.

                                    Downside? A one trick pony. Fish and Shrimp tacos are the sole items on the menu. Parking could be a challenge during peak hours. A "B" rating may turn off some diners. Fine by me for this type of quick and easy comfort food. You will need a bit of self constraint to avoid pigging out.

                                    1. At Tacos Baja Ensenada, I prefer the fish tacos to the shrimp. I visited Best Fish Taco in Ensenada yesterday for the first time, and the opposite was true. I started with two fish tacos that were good but far from mind-blowing. I put cabbage and crema on both and added the avocado salsa to one of them. I then got a shrimp taco and had it with cabbage, crema and the mango salsa. It was very, very good. I'll be back here often for a few shrimp tacos.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Itslikeimsayin

                                        I concur about the shrimp tacos at Best Fish Taco in Ensenada. While I like the fish tacos, the shrimp ones are *really* delicious!

                                      2. WOW!
                                        Just tried 'em for the first time this afternoon, just by chance...driving up Hillhurst, I spoted it and remembered that it was one of my "to do list" spots...then I found a parkng spot right in front, so I knew I had to try 'em.
                                        What a happy place, friendly poeple, patrons smiling and the gent at the register (I think he is the owner) was a breath of fresh air. I ordered 1 fish and 1 shrimp and asked if they served beer...it's BYOB and there is a store just a few paces up the street...you can get back before your tacos are ready and they were ready very quickly.
                                        So fresh, so crispy yet lightly battered. I LOVE that you get to put your own fixin's on 'em. Perfect!
                                        I am glad I only ordered 2 at a time since by the time I got to my shrimp taco, it was getting pretty messy on the bottom...amazingly, the bater still had a crunch to it even though it was swimming in the heavy handed ladle of salsa stuff I put on it.
                                        I had to get another...
                                        What a perfect day!
                                        3 perfect tacos, a quick lunch with very friendly strangers that let me join them at an outdoor table, and a Tecate'.
                                        Life is good!
                                        I will be back for sure!

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: tatertotsrock

                                          His name is Joeseph(sp?). I'm not sure if he prefers to be called that or Joe, but we just call him Joe.

                                          I only order 1 at a time and load up on the radish relish. Their horchatas are good as well - very cinnamon-ey and not too sweet. Hell he doesn't even ask me what I ordered anymore. I just tell him what I owe him and give him cash + tip.

                                          I haven't been there in 3-4 weeks....hmm....

                                          1. re: tatertotsrock

                                            Tatertotsrock,

                                            You missed me and Rameniac sitting outdoors at the other table.

                                            Gotta agree with the sentiment that the shrimp taco is where it's at.

                                            1. re: SauceSupreme

                                              Ah ha!
                                              Were y'all the gents talking about stinky tofu and ramen?
                                              I was the sweaty girl drinking the Tecate with the two young men.
                                              What a great day!
                                              Nice to almost meet you!
                                              I can't wait to go back when I have more time.
                                              I am soooo thrilled with the crunch pf the batter...how does it stay so crispy yet be so light....hmmm.

                                              1. re: tatertotsrock

                                                Yeah that was us. You know you're around hounds when you're at a fish taco stop talking about ramen and Taiwanese street food.

                                                Rameniac was biding his time with the tortillas on the grill, letting them get "well done" and toasted -- probably enhances the crunch even more. I'll probably try that next time. And did you see that giant sack of tomatoes in the kitchen? They must go through a *lot* of salsa.

                                          2. I'm pretty sure this is the stall that was the Pershing Square Farmer's Mkt. today. If so, things have changed based on previous comments. Tacos are now a crippling $3 each, and I swear that was tilapia. I didn't ask, but it had no fish taste and just sort of a pasty feel. Ick. Not cooked to order. Several condiments run out. Breading was also way over-spiced, almost KFC-like. This isn't bad, just, uh, different.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: cant talk...eating

                                              ...was there radish relish?

                                              1. re: ns1

                                                No radish relish. What is radish relish?

                                                Interesting, though, acc'g to the video link below (thanks, PaulF!), the owner/speaker says "we use sweetwater farm-raised basa, which to me is the perfect fish, because it reminds me of Chilean Sea Bass".

                                                Uh, ok, I don't know where to start on this one. Wikipedia has "basa" as a type of tropical, Old World catfish, which would account for that muddy, tilapia-like flavor (with apologies to catfish fans!). This sort of seals it (to me at least). If you're gonna be the "best fish taco in Ensenada", have at it, but based on my experience eating a lot of fish tacos up and down the peninsula, well, I guess if I have to explain this he wouldn't understand.

                                                Talk about brave new world.

                                                1. re: cant talk...eating

                                                  Radish relish is the one thing BFTiE does that no one else does. Kinda hard to describe..except a relish like consistency made with radish lol

                                                  Basa is essentially vietnamese catfish.

                                                  Fwiw, RFT also uses basa.

                                              2. re: cant talk...eating

                                                For what it's worth, the from their web site still indicates a 1.50 per fish taco.

                                                http://www.bestfishtacoinensenada.com...

                                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMRTrq...

                                                Also, they limit your order and have no "to go" because they want you to eat the tacos right away, hot and crispy. If they are not making these to order, they really changed their style.

                                                1. re: PaulF

                                                  Yeah that no togo thing only lasted a year or so (at least from my experience). About the time that RFT started blowing up Joe started doing togo orders.

                                              3. Best Fish Taco in Ensenada Deal -- $10 of Food/Drink for $5:

                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8106...