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Dec 24, 2010 04:47 PM

NYer Seeking Perfect Fish Taco in Carlsbad Area - Will Drive (my family crazy talking about this)

Fresh fish grilled not fried; not overly mayonnaised. Ideally can be made wiithout cilantro. I had a great one several years ago in Laguna and have been dreaming of them ever since. Have yet to find its match.

Also what is considered authentic when it comes to a fish taco?

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    1. Drive down the 101 until you get to Solana Beach. There you will find the Tidewater Tavern...I love their fish tacos. I've brought friends in there and they love them as well. It is a place where families are welcomed. there is a bar side and a restaurant side to it.

      2 Replies
        1. re: sd4life

          when i lived in DM & SB i went to Tidewater for many a night of cocktails and pool, but i could never partake of the fish tacos because of the flour tortillas. i'm glad i didn't know what i was missing :)

        2. We are a family of four with two teenagers from the midwest where we don't have "authentic fish tacos" - had lunch today at Bull Taco in Oceanside - just north of Carlsbad - a dive hole in the wall kind of place. My husband & I had three different types of tacos (swordfish, shrimp curry & carne asada for me while my husband had ahi tuna, swordfish & duck. The kids had two different types of burritos (shrimp for one kid & swordfish for the other) - they thought they were the best burritos they'd ever had. I thought it was the best fish tacos I'd ever had. I understand there are taco trucks & small taco shops that have better fish tacos but we needed a sit down place after visiting Birch Aquarium, especially where we could have a beer. Didn't want to sit on a street corner or eat from our laps. We got to Bull Taco about 1pm & they were already out of mahi-mahi and rockfish. My daughter was the last to get the shrimp. My advice would be to go earlier so they don't run out of ingredients. Hope this helps even tho I'm not a local.

          1. Some suggestions specific to around/near Carlsbad:

            Pelly's Seafood - casual order at the counter, eat at picnic table place. In the Ralph's shopping center off I5/Poinsetta.

            La Especial Norte - I haven't had fish tacos specifically here, but I've had other seafood dishes, and they've been very good. I don't often get by their seafood sampler app and fish soup.

            Bull Taco - in San Elijo State Park in Cardiff. Park on 101 just outside the entrance and walk in.

            La Especial Norte
            664 N Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

            6 Replies
            1. re: mikec

              Don't know if anything ever compares to a longstanding food memory, but we too enjoyed the fish tacos, fish sandwiches and clam chowder at Pelly's. Don't recall any soapy cilantro.

              1. re: Island

                If cliantro is over used it can taste that way. For me, it's not a fish taco without it.

                1. re: cstr

                  I seem to recall recent studies have shown it's genetics that make cilantro taste soapy to some, delicious to others...

                  As for "authentic" - I always thought fried with cabbage and a light crema on a corn tortilla with a squirt of lime and cilantro to be most "authentic" - but I like them grilled, with octopus, squid, shrimp, lobster, etc...

                  1. re: Ewilensky

                    The curse of the "supertaster." Thank god I'm not one. ;-)

                    I remember biology class in Linda Vista in the 1980s messing around with those taste-test strips of paper. Only a few people in the class had the gene to taste the nasty bitterness.

                    1. re: The Office Goat

                      Yes that's my understanding about cilantro too, genetics rather than overuse. My husband loves it, eats cilantro pesto which I can't even stand the smell of. Have learned to tolerate a bit or 2 in salsa, but that's about it.

                2. re: Island

                  Many people have a specific gene that makes them perceive cilantro as extremely bitter (among other things). There's an inexpensive test for the gene using a treated paper that you put on your tongue. My son has the gene and can't stand eating cilantro, whereas my wife and I don't have the gene and both love it...

                  I don't remember Pelly's or Bull Taco using heavy cilantro (but it's not something I'd particularly notice). La Especial Norte has a "fish taco plate" where the cilantro is on the side, I believe.

                  La Especial Norte
                  664 N Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

              2. La Takiza, they have beer-battered fish tacos with hand made tortillas. They are located in vista and Escondido.

                La Takiza
                1234 N Santa Fe Ave # 119, Vista, CA 92083