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Aug 4, 2014 07:23 AM

One man's exhaustive search for the best fish taco in SD. .

My faves are Mariscos German and Bahia Don Bravo in La Jolla.

From HuffPo:

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  1. Thank you for this! About four years ago, I asked this same question here and you guided me to Bahia Don Bravo; it was nirvana. My second favorite (or maybe a tie?) was Kotija, we were staying right up the street on the water. I also got a breakfast burrito on the way to the airport as we were leaving and I am pretty sure everyone on the plane was jealous of us! Unfortunately we only had five days or so, looking forward to getting back and trying out a few of these others.

    1. That Huffpo article struck me as particularly absurd. isn't it silly to eliminate places that have locations outside of SD? The title should have been "The best fish taco you'll have to drive to San Diego to eat". And it has to be within a few blocks of the beach? What, does he think they're tossing the fish directly from the pier to the fryer? This silly criteria allows him to include taco stands from as far away as Carlsbad, but nothing from Old Town or the College area, which are located within the SD city limits.

      We can add irony to this decision when he eliminates Rubio's after retelling the legend of how RR brought the fish taco to SD. Yes, by all means, let's exclude what might be the original SD fish taco stand from our article about SD fish tacos.

      I'm not a big fan of fish tacos and don't argue with his results, just his methodology.

      11 Replies
      1. re: DuffyH

        I don't think his methodology is absurd at all.

        He polled friends and the internet and this is the top of what he came up with.
        As a native, I think he nailed most of the taco shops/resto's that we all talk about on this forum.

        I don't recall La Mesa being a mecca for the fish taco, except for the Brig on Fuerte in Mt. Helix area for their everyday happy hour fish tacos for $3+.

        I'm sure there are other places around the County that have great fish tacos but SD is one huge place.

        No offense Duffy but when you moved from SoCal to Florida, you lost all cred with me.
        ; )

        1. re: Beach Chick

          Yes, I'm impressed by the scope of his search. He hit most (all?) of the spots that people commonly refer to as "the best place in San Diego to get a fish taco". What a great resource for people who would inquire the same of this board.

          1. re: Beach Chick

            Your buddy Sledge isn't going to be happy...he totally missed the taco truck in the Toys R Us parking lot

            1. re: DiningDiva

              I'm sure that is near the top of his list if/when he returns.

              I find it interesting that he seems to agree with many of the Chowhounders, especially with respect to South Beach Bar & Grill. I'm sort of surprised to see Puesto with a 4-fish rating, though - that's one I've never given a fair chance because I thought they seemed like they were aiming more at the vibe than the food. I'll give it a chance.

              Too bad Bahia is such a far drive from me. I guess I could make a late afternoon run when going to pick up my daughter at camp (she's in PB these days).

              1. re: RB Hound

                I can't speak to the LJ Puesto, but the fish tacos at the OPHQ Puesto were pretty darned tasty.

                They certainly aren't lunch-truck-cheap $1.25, though (the other $2.75 is rent for a nice place to sit in the shade and drink, also their produce comes from Specialty Produce).

              2. re: DiningDiva

                Ahh... Little Josh has taken care of that in a post down stream, thanks. Hey, for a 'best list' the huffer didn't do too bad. At least his list has some semblance of finding good places to it. Looks like he did more than look at Yelpers crappy reviews.

              3. re: Beach Chick

                Hi Beach Chick,

                I moved from SoCal to Washington state (Dude's job), then to Florida. I gladly give up all my years of beach cred for the joy of living near my son, DIL and 4 grandsons, who could never afford to buy a home in SD or any other city in SoCal. Also, housing costs here allowed us to take early retirement instead of working till we dropped. And hey, guess what? Great fish tacos here, too, made with freshly caught Gulf grouper. So bite me on that one. :-)

                And unless someone's been messing with the city limits, SDSU used to be located in SD, not La Mesa.

                1. re: DuffyH

                  Did you use to be 'pickypicky' on the SD board?

                  I'm happy for you and your DH, DIL and 4 grandchildren that you can take an early retirement.

                  I was in Siesta Key a couple of years ago, albeit, in July, but my DH and I could not walk a half a block with without severe heat exhaustion.

                  I loved that area and asked how long does this severe humidity and heat last and they said it lasted from April till Oct./Nov.

                  I was more ribbing you on losing your cred for moving to FL but we all have to do what is right for our family and I am glad you et al are happy!

                  In regards to Grouper, this is where FL shines..still craving me some Jazzy's in the Cape..

                  You mentioned College area and I believe the east side of College Avenue is considered La Mesa.
                  If you have good fish taco rec's for the La Mesa/Old Town area. .please let us know.

                  I just don't agree with your 'silly' assessment but that's what makes the world go round.

                  Wishing you all the best!

                  1. re: Beach Chick

                    Hi Beach Chick,

                    Nope, I've always been Duffy. I have no fish taco recs to add. I just thought it was completely goofy to mean only a very narrow strip of the county, as opposed to the complete city. I have a different definition of SD than the author does, I guess.

                    You're right, different strokes and all that.


              4. re: DuffyH

                > isn't it silly to eliminate places that have locations outside of SD?

                In theory but what places can you name that would be excluded by this but have good fish tacos?

                1. re: mig0sd

                  Assuming this part of the conversation is about the City rather than the County of San Diego, the Mariscos El Pescador truck is in the parking lot of the Chula Vista Toys R Us.

              5. I could have saved him a lot of money by sending him to Mariscos German off the bat. Of course he still missed the best one, at Mariscos El Pescador in Chula Vista.

                (And lol at Tin Fish, what a choice to end on....que lastima)

                7 Replies
                1. re: Josh

                  Josh from the North!
                  Any good fish tacos up in SF?

                    1. re: Josh

                      Going to Pad game (to see them sweep the Giants ;) for a long weekend and appreciate some places you would rec..staying at St. Francis in Union Square, since I'm a die hard Lefty's chica.

                      1. re: Beach Chick

                        OMG - Lefty's! First bar my father took me to in SF. Did you ever hear of the Iron Horse on Maiden Lane Chica?

                        1. re: foodiechick

                          Best bar evah. .
                          Piano bar at night is a riot and most of the MLB guys hang there after the game.
                          Sounds like your Dad was one cool guy!

                        2. re: Beach Chick

                          My favorite vegetarian burrito is located quite close to the ballpark: Victor's on King St. They do a nopales burrito that is really outstanding. I used to order it with mushrooms added, which was also good. Union Sq. area is more touristy, so I don't eat there very often. The Ferry Building is a pretty short walk, and Cowgirl Creamery makes some fantastic toasted cheese sandwiches.

                  1. Interesting read. My biggest take away was learning that South Beach serves their fish tacos in FLOUR tortillas (never eaten there). Who does that?!?!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: foodiechick

                      But the bottled ranch dressing kills them.

                    2. Very funny how the fish taco has become this elusive food item. I'd be happy with most of the ones on the list, and nine times out of ten it's still going to be frozen fish put on the same generic factory tortillas you can get at any local market. There was a time when Mariscos German would even board up the unused windows in their truck using the boxes that the frozen fish came in.

                      So, as far as ingredients go, the "best" fish tacos are still about as difficult to source as a pre-packaged hotdog served on a white bread roll.

                      And yet, so many places still get it so wrong...

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: cookieshoes

                        Probably because of all the moving parts to a good fish taco. A typical taco has 2-3 ingredients besides the tortilla. A fish taco has 4-5, all of which need to be good to make a good fish taco.

                        1. re: cookieshoes

                          yes, for a city with an abundance of fresh seafood, it kind of stinks that nearly every place relies on frozen processed fish parts.

                          1. re: MrKrispy

                            I'm betting that the lake trout in the fish tacos you had in Grand Rapids was fresh.

                            1. re: DoctorChow

                              It was! I asked about it after I was done eating.