Photo by Seth Combs
I know by just choosing these two places I'm opening myself up to any number of insults and criticism, but look, I like what I like and I've tried all kinds of fish tacos all over the city. And while Brigantine's take on the fish taco isn't exactly known for classicism, it's a quality piece of fish that's served in a way that is accessible to people who may have never thought to try a fish taco. The accouterments are equal parts blasphemous and bold: red cabbage, cheddar and ranch dressing. So while there's no shortage of traditionalists crying foul, they're far outnumbered by the folks who've become addicted to the tacos. They're not my favorite fish taco, but they're experimental and the cheddar adds a sharpness that complements the mild cod. What's more, they don't skimp on the fish and each taco is pretty huge so you don't feel shortchanged by dropping $10 for a plate. And you can call me guero all you want, but what Brigantine has done is pretty awesome: It has created an Americanized take on a Baja classic and deserves to be recognized for, if anything, being unafraid to tweak the formula. Oh, and it's delicious.
Photo by Seth Combs
South Parkers flipped their shit when they found out that Target was moving into the neighborhood. Most of them were worried about the traffic and the corporatization of the neighborhood and blah blah blah, but for me, I feared the worst: That the Mariscos taco truck would have to move. Luckily, Target let it stay. A classic streetside spot like the ones that are ubiquitous in Baja, Mariscos got people hooked on its $1 fish tacos when it first moved into the neighborhood. It has since raised the price, but the regulars keep coming. A classic take on the fried fish taco, it comes with salsa fresca, a mound of green cabbage and, of course, a drizzle of white sauce and limes on the side. The fish is your basic fried white variety (you can get it grilled as well) and the result is a sweet, salty crunchy mash complemented by whatever hot sauce you choose from the variety available. Again, this isn't my favorite fish taco in the city, but it's as classical a representation that traditionalists will likely find north of the border. Not to mention the fact that the consistently low prices make it one of the best bargains in town.
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