By Valentina Silva
With summer afoot, fish taco season has officially begun. In Los Angeles, especially on the Eastside, we’re lucky enough to have plenty of top-notch, fried-fish tacos within reach. What makes a good fish taco? It starts with a quality tortilla that isn’t too brittle or soggy, a flavorful batter that has a little crunch, and a well-cooked piece of fish that stays moist in the deep fryer. Fresh toppings are a must, too, and those limes better drip when you squeeze them.
Here are three of my favorite fish tacos. Note: Ricky’s Fish Tacos is not listed because they’re closed until “further notice”.
Tacos Baja Ensenada: There’s usually a line a this East L.A. joint, and it’s well earned. The dark golden batter is crunchy, giving way to a delicious piece of pollock in a chewy corn tortilla. The fish taco/shrimp taco combination is a good bet, or forget the rice and beans and just add another taco. I would. And don’t forget the salsa bar—the gorgeous yellow roasted chiles gueros aren’t as hot as they look. Mexican sodas and aguas frescas available, fish tacos are 99 cents on Wednesdays. 5385 Whittier Blvd, Los Angeles.
Via-Mar Seafood: Okay, so you will most likely get harassed for spare change on Via Mar’s patio, but it’s worth it. The fish tacos here are some of the best in the area. The crispy batter doesn’t overpower the always tender fish, though the cabbage-crema ratio is a little off. Smaller appetites may only need one of these bigger-than-average tacos to be satisfied. If that’s not you, pair it with a lobster taco. 5111 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles.
Best Fish Taco in Ensenada: The superlative is a bit much, but this spartan taco shop does make a good fish taco. And that’s all they make. Well, that and shrimp tacos .The batter is lighter and fluffier than most, and the fish is flavorful. However, beware because the tortillas tend to be a little flimsy. Fun mild-to-hot salsa bar and nice house-made horchata. 1650 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles.
Valentina Silva writes about food and restaurants. You can also find Valentina’s reviews and stories on her blog, Eastside Food Bites.