12 p.m. It took a village to pull me away from La Guerrerense, but I grudgingly boarded the bus knowing that our next stop was for fish tacos. Along with carne asada burritos, these more or less fueled my high school years in San Diego, so I was curious to compare and contrast the version I grew up with to the ones made in Ensenada.
I love how the boy in this photo is clearly indifferent to fish tacos, while his parents are eagerly awaiting their orders. Living in this delicious city, I’m certain that the little one will be a card-carrying foodie in no time.
The fish tacos at El Fenix are made of shark, which is a really big fish if you think about it. Each tender fillet is dredged in a tempura-like batter with mustard and spices and then fried in lard. The fillets are fried twice using a stainless steel comal. The first fry is to cook the fish, while the second one is to crisp up the batter seconds before serving.
The freshly fried fish was gently laid atop a warm corn tortilla. A plethora of garnishes including cabbage, crema, pico de gallo, and various salsas were available tableside to personalize our tacos to taste. What sets El Fenix’s fish taco apart from the Rubio’s of the world is the vibrantly crunchy batter. I was very impressed by the level of crispness achieved and the absence of extreme greasiness. Score one for lard.
Tacos El Fenix
Corner of Espinosa and Juarez (Calle 5)
Zona Centro, Ensenada