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Best fish tacos in the Bay Area found at Dia de Pesca in San Jose!

kimchee Sep 5, 2007 09:05 PM

I've been traveling to San Jose from the East Bay for work every week or two lately and finally checked out this new place that I had been driving by on my way to Falafel's Drive In. Thanks goodness I did because they have the best fish tacos I've had since moving here more than 4 years ago.

Dia de Pesca is quirky little joint that consists of a taco truck in a parking lot with covered cloth awnings. Then the rest of the lot is filled with mosaic concrete patio tables + benches & umbrellas for your outdoor dining pleasure. You order outside at a table and they make it in the truck. The ordering table also houses their 1-2 agua fresca selections of they day ( I had watermelon & today they had horchata). Now on to the tacos...

You get a choice of seafood: tilapia, snapper, salmon, halibut, tuna, shark, shrimp, scallops, or crab! Ridiculous variety. So far in my 2 times there I've had the tilapia, snapper, and halibut (I know safe - but believe me more shall be tried). Each one has been cooked to perfection. Soft & flaky, seasoned well, and a little chargrilled-in goodness. They're served in 2 fluffly corn tortillas w/ cabbage & pico de gallo, then drizzled generously with 2 sauces: creamy avocado & creamy chipotle (mixed w/ crema)? Today mine had a few thin slices of sauteed peppers thrown in as well.

The diner next to me tonight recommended the scallop tacos & the seafood quesadilla (although I'm not a huge fan of seafood + cheese). He said he was there last night and had to come back today for more. The menu is extensive, but it does seem like seafood is their specialty, so I'm sticking with that for now. All food is served with a paper boat of thin crispy (house-made?) chips and their salsa (which is not great, but fine & dandy enough). The owner said they are hoping to get a beer license in the future, as they have only been open about 3 weeks now. He mentioned he used to own a (mexican?) restaurant in Capitola. Supposedly they will take over the other small building in the lot for indoor dining in colder weather. This place must have been an old lawn art/garden center.

The fish tacos are a must try. If you know of a place that beat's them let me know. Until then Falafel's may never see me again...

Dia de Pesca
55 North Bascom Avenue (in between Stevens Creek & Naglee)
San Jose, CA 95128
Open Daily: 10:30-8:30

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  1. hhc RE: kimchee Sep 5, 2007 09:12 PM

    thanks for the tip!! It's on my list to try.

    1. Eat_Nopal RE: kimchee Sep 5, 2007 10:29 PM

      Sounds promising... the variety of seafood & specialization sounds alot like what makes casual food in Mexico several notches better than its counterparts in California. Its very exciting to think we have something like that in our region.

      1. Carb Lover RE: kimchee Sep 5, 2007 11:46 PM

        Thanks so much for this tip! I'll have to check it out when I'm in the area. Since I live in Santa Cruz, I wonder what the owner's former restaurant in Capitola was...

        1. Shane Greenwood RE: kimchee Nov 21, 2007 10:25 AM

          Yes! Just tried this place and it definitely lives up the the positive reports.

          It's in the same neighborhood as the famous Falafel Drive In (also excellent).

          Dia de Pesca has an extensive menu. I tried the tilapia and snapper tacos and beef nachos. I'd say the fish (Si Food as they say) is their stronger suit. They are super friendly and have plenty of outdoor seating.

          Dia de Pesca
          55 N Bascom Avenue, San Jose, CA

          1. DezzerSF RE: kimchee Aug 15, 2008 06:53 PM

            I tried 3 seafood tacos; shrimp, halibut, and snapper. I thought the seafood was fresh and cooked very nicely, but I didn't like the toppings much nor the tortilla.

            My tacos were topped with shredded cabbage, sliced bell peppers, pico de gallo and 2 sauces; an avocado and tomatillo one and a pinkish one I couldn't make out. I'm partial to a griddled tortilla so the two steamed tortillas didn't do much for me.

            I didn't want to overwhelm the fish with too much hot sauce but a squeeze of lime helped a bit. Generally I thought the seafood could have used more seasoning. The breaded fish might be the way to go.

            I did like the cucumber lemonade they offered today though.

            1. wolfe RE: kimchee Aug 15, 2008 07:14 PM

              A new addition to the fish taco list?

              1 Reply
              1. re: wolfe
                ML8000 RE: wolfe Aug 15, 2008 08:03 PM

                I have to recommend against Nick's, and its sister restaurant La Calaca Loca in Oakland. At nearly $5 bucks per and only okay at best, it's not there.

                I'm interested in trying Dia de Pesca, but it's way, way out of the way.

              2. rworange RE: kimchee Aug 15, 2008 09:25 PM

                Has anyone tried anything but the tacos?

                The site says ... COCTELES … ¡Especialidad de casa!

                They offer them cold or warm.

                How about the oysters. Anyone tried the OSTIONES a la Mejicana –chorizo, pico de gallo

                It also would seem like this is the place to get the CALDO de MARES. First Mexican place I've seen with clam chowder.

                On the meat side of the menu, anyone tried the CHICKENITZA- Casa Specialty
                Skinless chicken breast marinated in an orange citrus & cilantro sauce, sautéed to perfection, topped with our zesty peanut sauce, rich avocado sauce

                2 Replies
                1. re: rworange
                  maigre RE: rworange Aug 15, 2008 11:27 PM

                  I can answer yes to the caldo and Chickenitza dishes. Alas, I don't remember so well what I thought. It's been awhile. I was fine with the chicken, but preferred the fish tacos. I'm pretty sure that one of my kids got it and I just had a taste though, so take it for what it's worth. I'd give a more clearly favorable rec on the caldo, but I don't remember in detail enough to write much about it. But I recall thinking it was worth having ordered.

                  I can't dispute DezzerSF''s complaint about the tortillas. They're fine enough, but not fresh made ones. The tacos in general aren't in your face distinctive, but they're good. I like this place enough that I take the 15 minute drive from Mountain View to go there sometimes.

                  I'd like it if they'd add Valentina salsa to their selection of bottled salsas. It's good stuff on fish. Not that what they already have isn't fine.

                  1. re: maigre
                    DezzerSF RE: maigre Aug 16, 2008 12:09 AM

                    Yes, they offer quite a few different hot sauces at each table. Tapatio, a green and red habanero one, and another smoky red one from Mexico. None of them really complemented the delicate flavor of the seafood though.

                    I also tried their $1.75 chips and salsa. You get a tiny plastic cup (think takeout cup) of salsa with a basket of thin chips. In hindsight, the salsa might have been good on the tacos, but there was so little of it I didn't want to use it all up. I ended up having plenty of chips leftover.

                    Which fish tacos have you tried?

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