Saturday, November 29, 2014

Taco Tour: Part 1

As a local exploration experiment, Mike and I are in the process of executing a taco tour. The goal of a taco tour is to visit as many fine, taco-serving establishments as possible and sample many (hopefully) delightful fare. We started our adventure last week.

Stop #1: Chow Truck

The first part of this stop was not getting run over by ecologically conscious and parking lot negligent REI shoppers. While our tacos cooked, we tried the root chips, a mixture of golden potatoes, purple potatoes, carrots, yams, beets, and lotus root. There were some subtle flavor differences, but they were fairly mild overall. We ordered two different tacos to share.

Calamari with Asian Spice
These were unanimously the favorite taco of the night. The calamari was tender and the seasoning was perfect. Calamari tacos seemed like a stretch, but the execution was spot on. We'll definitely go back for these!

Spicy Beef with Cilantro-Chile Pesto
Mike's second favorite and my third. The beef was tender and the sauce, though a bit on the juicy side, gave it a satisfying kick.

Stop #2: Luna Blanca Taqueria
Beautiful chalk art added to the funky artistic/Southwestern blend of this restaurant. The service was great, and we heard four Johnny Cash songs while we were there, so that's +10 points in my book. Again, we ordered two tacos to share.

Chicken with Avocado Crema
While completely good, this taco came in last for both of us. It was nice, but, just friends nice, you know? What we determined is that you either need dark meat or a really interesting sauce to make the chicken flavorful enough to be memorable. With a mild sauce and shredded breast meat, this taco just didn't leave an impression.

Seared Shrimp Taco with Avocado Crema
This was my second favorite and Mike's third. Another seafood win. The shrimp was chopped and very tender. The citrus marinade gave it a very fresh feeling. In the case of this taco, the avocado crema nicely accentuated the flavorful star of the show. Eating this shrimp taco reminded me of the kind of high quality seafood dishes that you generally only get when you're near the ocean.