Friday, December 4, 2009

Best Fish Taco of Ensenada: It's True!

Recently, I started reading up on investing. It seemed to be the right time as it's never too early to start thinking about the future--besides, I wanted to make some money on the side for my upcoming France trip. I checked out a variety of books, from the conservative books to the get-rich-quick scheme books. One thing they all have in common though is they stressed diversifying your portfolio. It's never prudent to have all your eggs in one basket--in case something goes wrong.

This applies to the food world as well, which is probably why most restaurants offer a myriad of choices to satisfy each patron. Not so at Best Fish Taco of Ensenada, where they serve a grand total of 2 items (not including drinks): fish tacos for $1.50 each and shrimp tacos for $2.00 each.

My friends and I made the trek from the new location of Umami Burger because I had read about BFToE from Food GPS (my little black book & bible) a while back. I wanted to see what the fuss was about, so I ordered their namesake.

Like a well-oiled machine, the operation at BFToE is simple and efficient. After I placed my order with the cashier, two motherly ladies began their synchronized dance. One brought out a big metal bowl of battered fish and carefully placed individual strips in hot oil. While the fish is frying, the other cook grilled tortillas in a nearby griddle, taking care to give each side enough time to crispin and brown to perfection.

In just a short while, the first cook fished out the finished strips and let the pieces drain while the tortilla cook passed along the ready tortillas. In goes the fish and the piping hot taco is then transferred into my hands, all within a few minutes.


Next comes the fun part. Just three steps over, there is the fixings bar where you can mix and match salsas, gauc, shredded cabbage, and creama to create your desired taco. My winning formula is to pile on the cabbage, then add just a tiny bit of the Pineapple Kiss (Hot hot hot salsa enhanced by pineapples).


Newcomers, not to worry--there are little note cards with snappy descriptions. Or, try the hands-on approach and try a little of each topping beforehand.


It's hard to describe the finished product without being cliche but the experience of biting into the taco is like a big, happening party in my mouth. There's the hot, fresh-tasting fish in its delicate seasoned coating, the cooling cabbage, the spicy and sweet salsa and the charred corn tortilla--it doesn't get any better than this.


Although I was getting full (no kidding since I had a burger just right before), I was curious and wanted to try their shrimp taco to round out my experience.

It was a happy coincidence the owner of BFToE started working the cashier station just then. A gregarious and friendly guy, he told us about his family's horchata recipe while refilling my friend's empty cup as my friend commented on the unexpected roasted taste. The reason why his version differs from the normally mild milky brew is that he uses Morro seeds instead of rice, which is common in his hometown.

When it was my turn, I gushed about how much I loved the fish taco and is ready to order another one, to which he generously made me one on the house(!). The shrimp taco employs plump, briny shrimps and are fried in the similar manner as the fish. Personally, I prefer the more delicate, clean taste of the fish taco, but the shrimp is equally stellar and some of my friends prefer it over the fish.

From the looks of the steady stream of customers coming in at odd hours, maybe there's something about riding on one winner. Why dilute your profits when you have a sure thing? Too bad it's a drive for me to BFToE, if I live in Los Feliz, I would go there everyday. Hmm, so maybe it's a good thing that I live a ways away.

2 comments:

  1. you should try Ricky's Taco on Sunset Junction. He's this florist by trade who sets up on weekends to hawk excellent fish tacos. pure ensenada-style. Go around 1:30-4:30PM on saturdays and sundays to find him. I wouldn't go if it's raining though.

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  2. Good tip! Now that you mentioned it, I recalled reading about him from eat Drink & Be Merry—just might have to venture out into the Westside (sans rain) sometime soon :) Will report back when I do.

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