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LA transplant craving fish tacos - Westchester

chinookmail Feb 6, 2011 05:17 AM

Does anyone know where to get LA-style fish tacos in Westchester county, preferably in the Mount Kisco area? I haven't found them yet and would love some suggestions. Or maybe it's time I learn to make them! TIA.

  1. jcmods Feb 6, 2011 06:48 AM

    Your only hope is New Rochelle, Port Chester or possibly Danbury. I can't seem to locate a menu for any of the places online but these areas have high concentration of mexican places. I doubt you will find anything close to California standards though. Other hounds may be able to be more specific.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jcmods
      kaaaassss Feb 6, 2011 11:23 AM

      Bartaco in Port Chester.

      1. re: kaaaassss
        jfood Feb 17, 2011 04:08 PM

        I also recommend Bar Taco. I was there a few weeks ago and had a fish taco and it was excellent.


    2. y
      yeshana Feb 7, 2011 05:19 AM

      Half Moon- Dobbs Ferry- great view, moderate food, good fish tacos.
      Umami in Croton Falls used to have them - dk if they still do.

      Half Moon
      1 High Street, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522

      1. adamclyde Feb 9, 2011 07:01 AM

        I moved before bartaco came about, so I can't vouch for it, but as a fellow angeleno, let me just offer some thoughts. You can find some really satisfying mexican food in the area. But not baja style. A few places will claim to do baja style fish tacos, but you'll always be disappointed (and I really mean that). There's one place in Manhattan, pinche's taqueria, that is a sister taqueria to a place on Revolucion Ave in Tijuana. Their fish tacos are pretty good (still not stellar like tacos baja ensenada or taco nazo or Ricky's fish tacos in LA). Other than that, I never found a baja style fish taco worth eating in the northeast, let alone Westchester.

        That said, you can find lovely mexican food. Just not the true baja fish taco. Again, maybe bartaco is the remedy. Good luck.

        2 Replies
        1. re: adamclyde
          cubanat Feb 9, 2011 01:48 PM

          good to know you are still on our board AC & good lookin' out! Bartaco is good but as you said not the real deal. it satisfied my craving though and their chicken liver with fried onions taco made up for it! I had a decent incarnation of "fish tacos" as a special from roasted peppers in Mam'k though. they used cormeal fried smelt (that's my description)-- tiny whole fishes like one would get at a good dim-sum or tapas resto.

          1. re: adamclyde
            unocal Mar 18, 2011 02:09 PM

            hey AC, do they still have $0.99 fish tacos @ TBE on wednesdays? oh how i miss that place, and just LA in general. what kind of fish do they use there, do you know?

          2. c
            chinookmail Feb 9, 2011 05:10 PM

            Thanks everyone. I got so desperate that I made them at home. Not bad, not great, but the price was right. I'd rather go to manhattan (where I work) than travel a great distance by car, so I'll definitely go find piche's. The best fish taco I ever had was in Ensenada, Mexico. Too bad it made me so sick!

            7 Replies
            1. re: chinookmail
              Maryld Feb 10, 2011 06:58 AM

              I had fish tacos at the Taphouse in Tuckahoe over the weekend. They were nice-- fried fresh white fish, all the required vegetation, guacamole, and a chipotle cream dressing. However, I find that once they've been dressed, they start to cool off and get soggy. I really want to love fish tacos, what is the key to a brilliant version?

              1. re: Maryld
                adamclyde Feb 10, 2011 07:37 AM

                fish tacos have a half life of about 30 seconds, so even great ones become mediocre in about a minute. That said, baja style (and there are many kinds of fish tacos) have a few important characteristics:

                * Very crisp, fresh, light-battered fried fish. No grilled swordfish or anything weird like that. Must be white-fleshed, battered and fried into an almost like tempura crispness (though deeper in color and flavor than tempura).
                * Vegetation is only cabbage, (sometimes) onions and sprinkle of cilantro. Nothing else. * The sauce is a kind of creamy salsa. Mexican crema with some salsa/kick added. Never had either guac or chipotle.
                * Corn tortilla. This shouldn't even need to be mentioned, but I had a few in the northeast who had the audacity to put it in a flour tortilla. That's a crime against humanity.

                Now, I realize I'm imposing some stringent demands on an entire region of mexico where there certainly is a lot of variance, but the stereotypical baja fish taco will be almost exactly as described above. A great fish taco is transformative.

                1. re: adamclyde
                  Maryld Feb 10, 2011 12:21 PM

                  Thanks for the response. I've always felt that grilled fish in a fish taco was a sop to the food police. I'm going to do this at home very soon, although I suppose gazing out at two feet of dirty snow while drafts waft through the dining room windows doesn't really add up to an authentic fish taco experience.

                  1. re: adamclyde
                    chinookmail Feb 10, 2011 04:14 PM

                    Excellent description, AC. "LA style" really means baja style. And ITA about the corn vs. flour tortilla. Flour tortillas are great, they certainly have their place, but not with fish.

                    1. re: adamclyde
                      rolise Feb 24, 2011 08:00 AM

                      Okay, I just came back from CA and had fish tacos that violated all your rules. I was wondering what the big deal was. Should have asked for a description first.

                      1. re: rolise
                        adamclyde Feb 24, 2011 09:23 AM

                        yeah, most fish tacos even here in CA suck. The difference is that if you know where, you can actually find them here. I think that fact contributed greatly to my decision to relocate my entire family back in CA after 10+ years in the Northeast. :-)

                      2. re: adamclyde
                        saturngrrl Feb 25, 2011 06:54 PM

                        I agree... I've had these delicious morsels in SoCal (San Diego, mainly) and then, while on a cruise that stopped in Ensenada, I lucked into the BEST fish tacos there - out of a tiny little shack off the beaten path. Just as you described. I have also made them at home, because I can't find them in Connecticut and I just LOVE the hot crispy fish, the cool crunchy cabbage and the tang of the crema all (hopefully) in a single bite. It's amazing. I never thought of it as transformative, but I think you nailed it with that word!

                  2. c
                    cloverose Feb 14, 2011 09:55 AM

                    Remembering this posting, I tried the baja fish taco at Bartaco this weekend. Flour tortilla. Fish not very flavorful either until hot pepper sauce added. But fine, especially for $2.50. Nothing you'd be happy with. Fared better with the thai shrimp taco.
                    But, hey, the place is TONS of fun and the tacos are quick/cheap/good bar food. OMG, though, the drinks are outrageous! All made with freshly squeezed juice. My pomegranite calpyrinhia was kicking!!

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: cloverose
                      adamclyde Feb 14, 2011 12:27 PM

                      thanks for the report back. Bummer about the fish taco. Why do they have to call it a "baja" fish taco, just to get people's hopes up then not deliver? Alas... Glad the rest was tasty though.

                      1. re: adamclyde
                        RawTunaFan Feb 16, 2011 02:55 PM

                        Tap House in Tuckahoe has some pretty good fish tacos on their spring menu, nothing that you would find in SoCal. The closest I've found was Mercadito in the city :(

                        The Tap House
                        16 Depot Square, Tuckahoe, NY 10707

                        1. re: adamclyde
                          apf Feb 24, 2011 11:10 AM

                          Just to set the record straight - not a flour tortilla in the place. Corn tortilla, fresh cod, spicy cabbage slaw, and that's it.

                          1. re: apf
                            MRS Feb 24, 2011 02:16 PM

                            I think the food at bartaco is terrific and fun! The vibe is great, too. I have eaten there a number of times since they have opened.
                            Now, if only you didn't have to wait 2 hours for a table and they had a place to put coats besides the far side of the room- it would be that much better. We stuffed our coats by the side of a planter b/c we were too squished near the bar to hold them while waiting for a table, and couldn't even navigate to where the coat hooks were! It reminded me a bit of college- and not in a good way. We enjoyed once we sat down, but the waiting was irritating.

                            1. re: apf
                              adamclyde Feb 25, 2011 06:16 AM

                              Sounds good. Is the cod fried/grilled? How is it treated?

                              I'm thinking someone needs to be snapping some pictures at this place... :)

                              1. re: adamclyde
                                apf Feb 28, 2011 05:26 AM

                                Light tempura batter, fried.

                              2. re: apf
                                cloverose Feb 25, 2011 06:23 AM

                                Apologies -- I guess I mistakenly reported the flour tortilla, although I could have sworn it was. As I said, Bartaco has a great atmosphere/vibe and phenomenal drinks. The tacos I had were good/fine, just a little bland and I don't think they are what Adam was craving.

                                1. re: cloverose
                                  LorenV Feb 25, 2011 08:11 AM

                                  Taste and texture wise I would agree.

                                  Here's a couple good pictures of the tacos.



                                  Those are corn? If so...fooled me both in appearance and taste. I assume they're house made? A few people I shared Bar Taco's greatness with were questioning why they don't use 2 tortillas but the ones here are sturdy and I can't see any reason why 2 would be needed, especially for such small tacos.

                                  BTW, the regular cod fish tacos were good (missing that Tijuana roadside "relish") but the red snapper a la plancha was excellent.

                                  1. re: LorenV
                                    adamclyde Feb 25, 2011 02:42 PM

                                    from the pictures, those look like corn to me.

                                    And about 1 or 2 tortillas... I've had and seen both all over the place. Neither is purely more authentic than the other. But it's pretty rare that I have two tortillas on a taco when the tortillas are handmade.

                          2. s
                            SeanPK Feb 28, 2011 07:48 AM

                            I don't know what an "LA-style" fish taco is but I had the tacos at the Tap House in Tuckahoe and they were very good. You can have them fried or grilled.

                            The Tap House
                            16 Depot Square, Tuckahoe, NY 10707

                            1. jfood Mar 18, 2011 07:05 PM

                              i am about as far south into baja mexico as you can go and had some fish tacos for lunch. they were delicious and i have never seen them in our area.

                              here's a quick photo

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: jfood
                                cubanat Apr 12, 2011 04:25 PM

                                JFOOD!! What are you doing in a tourist trap like that? is that guac in a nacho bowl? the onion isn't chopped and they have table cloths & real china!?!? I'm shocked that your slumming down there...plus flour tortillas? points for the pickeled chile though!

                              2. The Chowhound Team Apr 13, 2011 07:08 PM

                                We've split off a general discussion of Mexican food in Westchester County to its own thread, which you can find here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/778546

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