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SaMo - Super Seafood Taco's @ Tacos Punta Cabras

Wow-wee!!!!!!

Was I ever more surprised than yesterday, when I had super fresh, lightly battered and fried, seafood tacos @ Tacos Punta Cabras? Maybe not.

It is currently without even a sign on a very non-descript, parking-challenged stretch of SaMo Blvd - #2311 - between Cloverfield and 23rd.

Handmade and pressed tortillas -check.

Nice variety of tasty (and HOT) homemade salsas - check (but not what anyone would call trad. - just darn good).

Zasty homemade slaw - check.

They also have tostadas and coctels. All seafood and tofu.

Some may scoff at $3.50/taco - but I won't.

Going back today!

Thanks goes to EaterLA for the discovery!

http://la.eater.com/archives/2013/02/...

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  1. OMG... they have soyviche... II can't wait to go...

    --Dommy!

    18 Replies
    1. re: Dommy

      soyveich ??? That's not like soyrizo is it ?

      1. re: Dommy

        Where do you see mention of "soyviche"? Just curious.

        Wooh, one of the anonymous commenters on Eater compared their tostadas to La Guerrerense and their fish tacos to El Fenix, both in Ensenada. I tried them back in September when I stopped there on a cruise, and if true, I am very excited about this place! Must go maƱana, I think. :-)

        1. re: PeterCC

          Just scroll down to the photo of their blackboard menu and you'll see it listed: http://losangeles.grubstreet.com/2013...

          1. re: Servorg

            I still don't see "soyviche" listed in any of the photos. I see "Tofu" listed under "Taco" and under "Coctele" on the blackboard.

            Am I just blind or am I being too literal? I was wondering if the restaurant actually used the term "soyviche" on their menu, but perhap that was just Dommy's tongue-in-cheek way of referring to the tofu coctele?

            1. re: PeterCC

              "...but perhap that was just Dommy's tongue-in-cheek way of referring to the tofu coctele?"

              Yes

              1. re: Servorg

                Yeah, I didn't see it on the menu either.

              2. re: PeterCC

                I didn't see it either when I just tried it out. My bad.

                Don't beat up the fucking messenger. :)

                Anyhow, it's not half bad. Though I'm not sure the tacos are exceptional and I still have yet to try the highly lauded, prestigious, infamous Ricky's in Silverlake. (Though I do really like the best fish tacos in ensenada on Hillhurst). And yes, at $3.50 each, and these are regular sized (i.e. pretty small) tacos, in my opinion, they are still expensive.

                Also, just a note there is no sign on the outside, except for the old coffee house (????) sign touting UTOPIA, i guess some will feel that these tacos would take them to a utopian vision of society.

                So anyhow, if this was my main lunch, I would probably need around 4 tacos plus a soda, for a grand total of over $16 bucks.

                But anyhow, I already had the infamous pastrami poutine fries at plan check which were not half bad, i will try them again, but that was also a tiny size (it seems these days, tiny foods are trying to be too quite by half).

                1. re: kevin

                  What's with all the f-bombs on CH nowadays? :-)

                  Ricky's is just a few blocks away from Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada, and at least in my family, Ricky's is much better.

                  Gonna try to get to this place before they close today. Will report back.

                2. re: PeterCC

                  Sorry! Yes, Soyviche is just a term my Mexican Vegan (Yes, they do exist) use for tofu cocteles, a staple in many of their diets... When done right, it's actually REALLY good....

                  --Dommy!

                  1. re: Dommy

                    if you ever find a local place that serves soyviche, please post.
                    (i will even drive east of the 405 to pursue it.)

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      I will! I've been keeping my eye on it... the Mariscos business in L.A. is still remarkably macho... but with these wonderful second generation taco stands opening up, I hold out hope. I even mentioned it to the Dorados guys...we'll see if it ever shows up at the ceviche restaurant....

                      Glad to hear the Tofu cocktail at TPC was good though! :) Going to try to make it down this week! :D

                      --Dommy!

                      1. re: Dommy

                        Went back tonight. Did not have the tofu cocktail, but the tofu tacos were excellent.

                        1. re: PeterCC

                          Pineapple Habenero Salsa, Yeah, baby

                          Now that's the stuff.

                          1. re: kevin

                            I like it, too!
                            This begins with a pineapple sweetness that leads me to believe it is going to be benignly fruity...and then the habanero kick!

                            1. re: liu

                              The sweetness from the pineapple saves one from a usually quintessential mouth-searing ma la.

                              Anyhow, I had forgot that by my fourth visit that Punta Cabras really hit its stride for me.

                              That salsa is a paragon of virtue or is it perfection ?

                              1. re: liu

                                My only qualms would have to be the price at about $20 for four tacos and a soda.

                                1. re: kevin

                                  My only qualm is that I didn't have ANOTHER mixed seafood coctele...so refreshing!

                                  I "gotta-get-it-outta-my-dreams," so I will be back soon!

                                  1. re: liu

                                    And they were out of the cauliflower tostada the other day.

                                    The cashew salsa is like the delicious peanut butter of my dreams.

                                    Nuff said. And return visit is in order.

                                    Now if they only added some beers and margaritas and micheladas to the aforementioned mixtos.

            2. Sounds good, I;ll check it out too. Yes, 3.50 a taco does sound pricey.

              2 Replies
              1. re: kevin

                with the world-wide price of good fish skyrocketing, it no longer sounds pricey to me.

                1. re: westsidegal

                  Ricky's charges $3/taco (though my wife picked one up the other day and was charged "only" $2.75), but the portions of fish in their tacos are definitely chunkier than some of the other place we've tried.

                  So we'll gladly pay $3.50 to not have to travel, if this place is good. I'm really hoping it can come closer to Ricky's than ROC Kitchen did to Ding Tai Fung (still worth the trek SGV for xiao long bao).

              2. Hey Bob!

                My older daughter i completely hooked on Ricky's Fish Tacos! We tried "Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada" just up the street and she was not impressed. How does this place compare to Ricky'?

                17 Replies
                1. re: PeterCC

                  Hi Peter - I like all three.
                  At the moment, here's how I would break it down: I would put put Tacos Punta Cabras above BFTE and probably tie it with RFT.

                  Both use very fresh fish and oil. I do not recall any handmade tortillas at RFT/BFTE and the cauliflower tostada I had on Friday at TPC was TRULY OUTSTANDING! So that variety, as well as the coctels push it up a notch. I also think the salsas are more interesting at TPC. But it is not cheap for what it is, and RFT has other variables that are nice (greater fish variety -- lobster sometimes).

                  I will be very surprised if you do not love it, Peter.

                  1. re: Ciao Bob

                    Thanks Bob, I'm heading there right now! :-)

                    1. re: PeterCC

                      Yeah, budddy. Might I recommend the fish and shrimp tacos and then add a ceviche and cocktel to it too. That way you get to try everything.

                      1. re: kevin

                        Are you channelling Pauly Shore? ;-)

                        Had the tacos de pescado and the coctele mixto. Quite good. Getting to-go a scallop taco... and the cauliflower tostada per your rec.

                         
                         
                    2. re: Ciao Bob

                      Oops, the rec for the cauliflower tostada was from you, not kevin. It was good, but for some reason I was under the impression the cauliflower would be cooked. Since it was raw, I didn't think it added too much in flavor (did add a crunchy texture) to the standard tostada fixins, which were very good.

                      I was amazed though at how light the batter was for the fish taco. The fish itself was a little too tender, and without a substantive batter to fall back on, I felt that the fish actually got kinda lost. Not that I'm advocating for heavy batter, just for firmer fish. The toppings, salsa (cashew!), tortilla were all excellent. I'll definitely go back!

                      Was the fish pretty firm or kinda soft when you had it? Anyone else who's been, please jump in.

                      1. re: PeterCC

                        Yeah, you are correct, the fish was ultra-soift and the batter was whisper thin. Oh, shit, I missed out on the fucking salsa with cashews in it, it really had cashews in it ? I've never experienced that before.

                        I think your sentiments are roughly aligned with my on the fish taco. So in a nutshell, can you describe Ricky's fish taco ? For some reason, I never make it to silverlake while he's there.

                        And also, I'm pretty much a fan of the best fish tacos in ensenada, and I still think the fish tacos at Tacos Baja Ensenda in East LA on Whittier Blvd is really really really great. And cheap, at 1.50 or possibly even less per pop, and on wesdnesdays they are roughly 99 cents each.

                        1. re: kevin

                          The cashew salsa was more like chunky cashew butter with some spices (cilantro and chiles, I presume) than what most people would imagine salsa with some cashews in it being.

                          Ricky's tacos contain larger chunks of fish compared to Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada (think chicken nuggets vs. popcorn chicken in size). Since the pieces are larger, I preferred the fish-to-batter ratio at RFT, though of course neither's batter were as thin and light as at TPC.

                          The fish at RFT also tasted fresher and lighter compared to BFTE, but that may just have been the fry time or maybe old oil at BFTE, as their fish came out much darker and more oily than at RFT.

                          Of the three, RFT reminded me most of the fish tacos that I had in Ensenada (from Los Originales Tacos de Pescado de Ensenada and from Tacos Mi Ranchito El Fenix). Tacos Baja Ensenada is on my to-try list to compare to all these other places.

                          I do enjoy the super-light batter at TPC. If they used a firmer fish, it would be near-perfect. The scallop taco that I had to-go was definitely much better for the fish IMO, as the scallops were plump and substantive. I assume I'd prefer the shrimp over the fish there for the same reason.

                          1. re: PeterCC

                            The shrimp also had a definitely light better.

                            1. re: PeterCC

                              Agree about the oil at BFTE not being the best.
                              I was told by a frequent luncher at TPC that they have plans to expand beyond their current space - and beyond seafood - but on the same block. Los Carnes y Los Pescadoes!

                            2. re: kevin

                              AND Tacos Baja Ensenada in East LA has those peppers in oil at their bar...YUMMMM!
                              AND they have a wonderful ceviche!
                              AND I agree with you, Kevin. Their fish tacos are amazingly good!

                              The tacos at Tacos Punta Cabras are a little lighter, more delicate and more gourmet. TBE is a meal; TPC is a snack. But I did love their coctel!

                              1. re: liu

                                Yeah, TBE, I once went to and had the ceviche there, four fish tacos and a huge, biggie horchata, my bad, correction, tamarindo (whenever they gots taramindo at a joint, i have to order it over the horchata).

                                1. re: kevin

                                  Kevin, nothing trumps horchata for me!

                                  Speaking of drinks: I had the hibiscus drink at Tacos Punta Cabras; our server promised something special. I did not care for it, but I generally do not like hibiscus "teas." Perhaps someone else who has tasted this version can let us know if it is "special" as our server described it. I did not see horchata offered at Tacos Punta Cabras.

                                  1. re: liu

                                    I haven't come across an agua de jamaica that I've loved, but I've had some that I've liked. If they have it next time I go, I'll order it and see whether I like it or not.

                                    When I went this afternoon, they only had agua de tamarindo (not counting the bottled drinks), and I have to say it was pretty good. Tasted like a mildly-fermented tart pear juice.

                                    1. re: liu

                                      I'll order both next time I'm there and do a taste test.

                                      1. re: liu

                                        Hibiscus is the same as jamaica, right ? (not to be confused with the country.)

                                        If so, i love that too.

                                        but recently i had an exceptional watermelon agua fresca, and i've been dreaming about it ever since.

                                        btw, i forgot to check the hours but they are early right, about 6pm closing time ???

                                        1. re: kevin

                                          Kevin, they do not open until 11:00am and close at 8:00pm, M-Sat.

                                          1. re: kevin

                                            TPC's hours are actually a bit bit more expansive. They're shooting for an 8 PM closure each night (closed Sunday), but they do occasionally sell out of fish, as they did Saturday afternoon at 3 PM according to their Twitter feed. I don't know if that means they close or if they then just sell the shrimp, scallop, tofu tacos and the cocteles.

                                            Yes, agua de jamaica is the same as hibiscus tea. I think I'd like horchata except for the cinnamon, which I love in snickerdoodles but not so much in my drinks. Oh well.

                                            Where did you have the exception agua de sandia? That is probably my favorite kind of agua fresca. I usually get it at Tacos Por Favor because they always carry it, rather than rotating flavors as some restaurants do.

                                            Tender Greens actually has a very clean (dare I say Americanized) watermelon agua fresca that I quite enjoy, but they do rotate their flavors (I had a pineapple-orange agua fresca there the other day that was pretty good too).

                            3. Ciao Bob...great find -- and thanks!

                              We were there yesterday for lunch when they opened at 11:00am. It was 80!!! degrees in Santa Monica yesterday, so we sat outside. The inside is not very spacious nor pleasant, so the outside seating was preferred. A couple of the guys came out to talk with us; at least one of them was an owner.

                              The shrimp taco was terrific; the shrimp were lightly tempura'd and tasty. The mixed seafood coctel was perfectly refreshing. The broth was light and the seafood was very fresh.

                              The place is not pretty, but I love the food. It did not weigh on my stomach as fried food might, and we were quite satisfied with one taco and one coctel each.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: liu

                                Great liu - so glad you enjoyed it! I can now highly recommend the cauliflower tostada.

                                1. re: Ciao Bob

                                  Oh, you can be sure that I will return to Tacos Punta Cabras!
                                  Thanks, Ciao Bob!

                              2. Wow, can't wait to try. Just a heads up, on twitter they said they ran of out fish after noon today. Might check it out early tomorrow.

                                https://twitter.com/TacoPuntaCabras