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Sep 5, 2010 09:57 AM

Are Rubio's fish tacos going downhill, or was I just unlucky?

For the first time in many years, my partner and I were both surprised at Rubio's (Encinitas) last night with fish tacos that were kind of dry, and the sauce seemed 'off' (or maybe just scant) from what we expect.

Then we find out on the internet the company has just been sold to some investment group.

I saw pretty much the same personnel at the restaurant I have seen before. One guy (manager?) having been there for years.

I'm just wondering if we came in on a 'bad night', or if anyone else has noticed things deteriorating there. Not that Rubio's was ever haute cuisine, and really I don't care for much there other than the classic fish tacos and pinto beans. But I really liked those tacos and hope they aren't getting trashed by the new owners.

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  1. It's not just you- Rubios has been in a death spiral for years. Each visit it's more pathetic, and had I not been an Rubio's early adopter, I'd have abandoned it a long time ago.

    Go ahead- remind me that the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome.

    Yes, I'm aware that rats, once taught to navigate a maze for a morsel of cheese, will continue to navigate said maze even when the reward has not been offered repeatedly.

    So go ahead, take your best shot. I deserve it.

    1. I'm not sure about the new owners effect, but Rubio's has been wildly inconsistent for a couple of years. We go to a few different ones and the Encinitas is the closest, but it has a lot to do with the fish being hot and the sauce combining with it and too often that doesn't happen. Have you tried Mama Testa down in Hillcrest/University? Also, though it is a different taste, El Nopalito on Santa Fe in Encinitas? And a pricey/weird one but not to be missed because of the picnic tables overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Cardiff is Bull Taco who often have lobster as well as the classic fish taco.

      Mama Testa
      1417 University Ave Ste A, San Diego, CA 92103

      Santa Fe Cafe
      445 Santa Fe Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024

      El Nopalito Restaurant
      582 Santa Fe Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024

      1. I usually go on 'Taco Tuesday' when Rubio's is making them constantly. The fish tacos have been consistently the same and the last time, were larger and better than usual. Maybe you hit at an 'off' time..

        1. I was thinking the same thing, got some yesterday. The flour tortilla was dry and too chewy (like Taco Bell's). Didn't get a lime either in mine. Just wasn't as good as I remembered from years ago.

          1. Why bother with chains when you can go to a great Marisco's truck and get a baja fish taco for a buck and change which includes a cup of spicey seafood broth.

            3 Replies
            1. re: cstr

              Why bother with chains? Because not everybody wants to, or can, spend 30-45 minutes driving to a truck. Sometimes you are stuck with what you have.