REVIEW w/ pics: Tacos Ensenada: A Duarte Foodie Gem
- pleasurepalate May 14, 2010 10:17 PM
One of the great things about living in my little town of Duarte right now comes in the form of a small hole in the wall restaurant called Tacos Ensenada. From the restaurant's name, it's safe to say that it's a taco joint, but for those of you in the know, Ensenada is a city in Mexico known for its fish tacos. Put that all together and what's coming out of this restaurant's kitchen are extremely tasty fish (and shrimp) tacos.
The restaurant itself is tiny and I'm talking, 4 tables that can seat a total of 16 people at one time. There's also a fresh condiment bar where you can get pickled carrots, red onions, radishes and these yellow peppers sprinkled with chili powder. I could have easily eaten more than the two I had, but wanted to make sure I had room for my meal.
First to arrive was my Fish Ceviche Tostada. I liked how large the sections of avocado were that topped the tostada. In fact, I ended up just eating those on their own. As for the fish itself, I found it be bland. I could taste hints of lime, but there needed to be more flavor. Perhaps, they didn't "cook" it in its marinade long enough or they just didn't use enough ingredients. Maybe, they were just having an off day. They had only been open for a few days when I stopped by. Hopefully, when I try it for a second time, it'll be better.
What didn't disappoint were their fish and shrimp tacos. I ordered one of each as part of their combo platter, which by the way, only cost $5.39. The first thing I tried was the fish taco, which actually had a generous fish portion. It was longer than the tortilla itself.
At my first bite, I already knew that I was going to be a happy fish taco eater. What I liked about the batter was that it wasn't oily nor was it heavy. The fish's batter was a nice golden brown and crispy while the fish meat itself was moist and delicate. It was a taco that was both messy and yet great to eat.
I enjoyed the shrimp taco just as much. The shrimp was sweet and cooked just as right. It was just as messy as the fish taco, but I didn't mind bite after delicious bite.
Overall, although the fish ceviche tostada was a bit of a disappointment, the fish and shrimp tacos more than made up for it. In fact, I've been back a couple more times and can't seem to not order those fish and shrimp tacos. Hopefully, Tacos Ensenada is up for a long stay so that I'll be able to try more of their menu.
2171 East Huntington Drive
Duarte, CA 91010
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Thanks for the great review and photos! I thought I was the only one who had found this place and loved it (and was considering keeping it a secret, but now that the cat's out of the bag ....)
I hope to be back soon to try their other ceviches, caldos, etc. Meanwhile I've eaten my way through their taco selection on my 2 visits to date, and you're right - those fish and shrimp tacos are awesome. The pollo and asada tacos are OK, but nothing special, and the pastor tacos were a disappointment. But I'll keep coming back for the seafood ones (and those pickled, chili'd peppers too)
Thanks for the great review.
Where would the Fish Tacos at Baja Ensenada ranks among the Fish Tacos on your February 2010 Fish Taco Crawl (Taco Nazo was your favorite)?
851 W Gardena Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247