One of the easiest ways to eat fish also happens to be the most beloved.
By Ashley Ryan
There’s something about a fish taco that has long captivated those along the coast. Whether hard shell or soft, with fish crispy or grilled, these savory dishes offer endless combinations that allow you to customize the flavor.
So head to these popular eateries to pick up some fresh seafood that you can enjoy with ocean views at Heisler Park, on the beach or simply on a local bench in the sunshine.
Blackened Mahi Taco
Asada Tacos & Beer
This light option is perfect for those who don’t want something heavy or fried. Fresh mahi-mahi is blackened in a skillet before being placed atop warm, house-made corn tortillas along with cabbage, mango-pineapple relish, poblano cream and cotija cheese. The dish, which comes with two tacos, is also served with rice and beans. (949-226-7263; asadatacos.net)
White Fish Taco
When it comes to enjoying this particular taco, the choice is yours: Choose between a corn or flour tortilla before deciding on seared or blackened fish. The eatery uses basa fish, which is popular for its combination of high-quality protein and healthy omega-3 fats. After the fish is cooked, it is layered with mixed cabbage, onion, cilantro and a house-made chipotle dressing for a slight kick—plus a lime garnish. (949-715-1510; rastataco.com)
Crispy Fish Taco
Wahoo’s Fish Taco
For decades, Wahoo’s has been a go-to spot for those in search of the perfect fish taco. Add some crunch to your plate with this long-standing favorite, which features wild-caught Alaskan flounder—a sustainable choice—that is seasoned and lightly breaded. The corn tortilla is flavored with melted cheese before the fish is layered with citrus slaw and a cilantro-roasted pepper sauce. (949-497-0033; wahoos.com)
Blackened Wild Salmon Taco
La Sirena Grill
While most restaurants opt to use white fish, La Sirena offers a more unique option with its blackened wild salmon taco. After adding blackening spices, the salmon is sauteed in a pan then added to a handmade corn tortilla with aioli, pico de gallo and the brand’s Sirena cabbage, consisting of green cabbage, onion, cilantro and lime. (Downtown: 949-497-8226; South Laguna: 949-499-2301; lasirenagrill.com)
Grilled Fish Tacos
Carmelita’s Kitchen de Mexico
Made from scratch daily, the cuisine at Carmelita’s is traditional in the finest sense, with flavors and ingredients that delight the palate. The restaurant uses halibut in its fish tacos, roasting the seafood in wine before grilling it to perfection. A citrusy lemon tartar sauce is added to complement the flavor of the halibut, and the dish is finished with cabbage and avocado. (949-715-7829; carmelitaskdm.com)