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Kiko’s Place gets a new space

The OG fish taco is still just $3.50

Dulce with my at taco on Kiko’s sidewalk eating area on C Street.
Dulce with my at taco on Kiko’s sidewalk eating area on C Street.
Video:

TIN FORK: Kiko’s Place gets a new space downtown on C Street. The OG fish taco is still just $3.50.


My true love Diane and I have been to Kiko’s Place — the food truck near the Hazard Center trolley stop, on the way to Verizon — three or four times. Basically, every time I screwed up something about my phone plan. But this time, I’m spotting the Kiko’s sign Downtown. I’m in a Blue Line trolley, rocking along C Street, passing a green frontage next to Resident Brewing, when... Kiko’s? Here? I get off at the Fifth Avenue stop and walk back until I’m opposite Ross Dress for Less.

And thar she blows! Sign’s just like the one on the Hazard Center food truck, red lettering on a blue-y background. Except here, we’re talking bricks and mortar, and actual street seating under three bright umbrellas, luminous in the afternoon sun: yellow, blue, and red.

Oh man. Really enjoyed their food truck, and their $3.50 “OG Fish Taco,” and the fact that you got your free umami broth first, loaded with onion and other veggies, plus the actual taco, the plethora of spices and chiles and peppers to put over the fish, not to mention the layer of shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, and cream. It was a mess! A beautiful mess. And cost just $3.50. Natch, I’m interested to see if they do the same thing here.

My Seafood Mix Taco. Healthy! With enough of everything to fill you and then some.

I like the way they’ve made use of the narrow sidewalk outside. You can sit and watch the red trolleys roll on by a few feet away. And inside, behind the counter, hey hey! Dulce, Queen of the Hazard Center truck. “We’re just the same,” she says. “Food, prices, menu. The customers are a little different: a lot of business people around here.”

In a way, their fresh paint and busy-ness is helping this chunk of block feel almost Parisian. Guys from Resident Brewing come and help put the umbrellas up. Others trundle kegs of their beer past the restaurant on wheels. A couple of business groups inside try to juggle documents and their messy hand-held tacos. I check the wall menu, even though I know pretty much what I want. OG. (For the longest time I never could understand what “OG” meant. Then mustered up the courage to ask Dulce through the food truck cab’s window. “OG is short for “OriGinal,” she said.)

I check the menu anyway. OK, so the basic OG fish taco still goes for $3.50. But this being a Monday, they also have specials. You get an OG fish taco, plus a shrimp taco for $5.99. Can I resist this? No way Dulce! Individually, the tacos go for a little more. The Gobernador, which is grilled shrimp with tomato, bell pepper, onion, celery and cheese, is $9. Or, you can get it as a burrito, or even as a quesadilla, for $14.50. The Chingon (don’t ask what it means) is also $9 and $14.50. It’s a combo of steak and shrimp, and a delicious-sounding combo of pico de gallo, avocado, cream, and cheese. Two of the cheaper ones are the grilled mussel ($5 for the taco, and $14.50 for the burrito/quesadilla), and the veggie ($5 taco, and only $8 for the burrito or quesadilla). And a “San Felipe Taco.” “We put a really interesting collage of seafood in that,” Dulce says, “just like you’d have down in San Felipe, where the whole fish taco thing started.”

Kiko’s got famous as a Mission Valley food truck. Now they’ve expanded downtown.

Indeed, San Felipe is where her dad (Francisco — Kiko) started their fish taco business in 1983, right around the time Ralph Rubio was also bringing San Felipe-style fish tacos up to San Diego.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Of course, I go for the Monday deal. The OG Fish Taco and the shrimp taco. I make sure to slather them with onions, a couple of big, slimy, yellow and green sautéed peppers, and limes. And the tall pots of hot sauces. Red, blue, purple, green, yellow. “Yellow’s the hottest one,” says Dulce. And then I’m outside on a tall stool, making an unholy mess! Really, I haven’t had better tacos for yonkers. (It helps that they have Jamaica, the red hibiscus iced tea, to help it all down. Costs around four bucks.)

Lightning never strikes twice? Let’s test that theory. Wednesday, I jes’ happen to be passing along that same wicked patch of C Street in the Blue Line trolley again. Must say, it’s turning into an interesting half-block, starting with Resident Brewing, — the beautiful small brewery at one end, — and ending with The Local, the pub around the corner, which tonight (around six o’clock) is about to host a popular-looking quiz night, and then the Brooklyn, which I happen to know does great pizzas, and padaah!, in the middle, brand-new and lined with bright colored umbrellas, Kiko’s Place, brick and mortar version. They’ve come a long way.

I jump off at Civic Center and walk back. Seems Dulce’s here most days now, and tonight, she’s with Anya the server and Diana the cook. “Today’s special is special,” Dulce says. “Only $5.99 on Wednesdays. Rest of the week it’s $9. It’s the Seafood Mixed Taco, and it has fish, shrimp, octopus, scallops, mussels, smoked fish, crab, grilled veggies, and melted cheese on top. And it all comes with bell peppers, onions, cilantro and tomato.”

Of course I have to have it. “Come sit with us,” says Dulce when she brings it out, and the four of us — Dulce, Anya, Diana and I — have a nice conversation. Or rather, the ladies talk while I make a proper mess of myself, chomping mussels, scallops, smoked fish, crab, on and on. Oh, and a Mexican Coke ($4). But this super taco has got me beat. I ask chef Diana to wrap the remains. No worries: I can already taste the sabroso breakfast that’s gonna come out of tomorrow morning’s frypan. ■

The Place: Kiko’s Place, 407 C Street, downtown, 619-432-10095

Hours: 9am-7pm daily (closed Sunday).

Prices: OG fish taco (fried with cabbage, pico de gallo, cream), $3.50; Monday special, OG fish taco, shrimp taco, $5.99; Tuesday special, 3 fish tacos, or one OG fish taco, one fish ceviche, $6.99; Wednesday special, seafood mix taco, $5.99; Thursday special, spicy fish taco, fish ceviche, $9.99; Friday special, Krazy ceviche, $18;“famous Viagra seafood mix,” $20; XX large, $28

Buses: all downtown

Nearest Bus Stop: 6th and Broadway

Trolleys: Blue Line, Orange Line, Silver Line

Nearest Trolley Stop: 5th Avenue

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Dulce with my at taco on Kiko’s sidewalk eating area on C Street.
Dulce with my at taco on Kiko’s sidewalk eating area on C Street.
Video:

TIN FORK: Kiko’s Place gets a new space downtown on C Street. The OG fish taco is still just $3.50.


My true love Diane and I have been to Kiko’s Place — the food truck near the Hazard Center trolley stop, on the way to Verizon — three or four times. Basically, every time I screwed up something about my phone plan. But this time, I’m spotting the Kiko’s sign Downtown. I’m in a Blue Line trolley, rocking along C Street, passing a green frontage next to Resident Brewing, when... Kiko’s? Here? I get off at the Fifth Avenue stop and walk back until I’m opposite Ross Dress for Less.

And thar she blows! Sign’s just like the one on the Hazard Center food truck, red lettering on a blue-y background. Except here, we’re talking bricks and mortar, and actual street seating under three bright umbrellas, luminous in the afternoon sun: yellow, blue, and red.

Oh man. Really enjoyed their food truck, and their $3.50 “OG Fish Taco,” and the fact that you got your free umami broth first, loaded with onion and other veggies, plus the actual taco, the plethora of spices and chiles and peppers to put over the fish, not to mention the layer of shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, and cream. It was a mess! A beautiful mess. And cost just $3.50. Natch, I’m interested to see if they do the same thing here.

My Seafood Mix Taco. Healthy! With enough of everything to fill you and then some.

I like the way they’ve made use of the narrow sidewalk outside. You can sit and watch the red trolleys roll on by a few feet away. And inside, behind the counter, hey hey! Dulce, Queen of the Hazard Center truck. “We’re just the same,” she says. “Food, prices, menu. The customers are a little different: a lot of business people around here.”

In a way, their fresh paint and busy-ness is helping this chunk of block feel almost Parisian. Guys from Resident Brewing come and help put the umbrellas up. Others trundle kegs of their beer past the restaurant on wheels. A couple of business groups inside try to juggle documents and their messy hand-held tacos. I check the wall menu, even though I know pretty much what I want. OG. (For the longest time I never could understand what “OG” meant. Then mustered up the courage to ask Dulce through the food truck cab’s window. “OG is short for “OriGinal,” she said.)

I check the menu anyway. OK, so the basic OG fish taco still goes for $3.50. But this being a Monday, they also have specials. You get an OG fish taco, plus a shrimp taco for $5.99. Can I resist this? No way Dulce! Individually, the tacos go for a little more. The Gobernador, which is grilled shrimp with tomato, bell pepper, onion, celery and cheese, is $9. Or, you can get it as a burrito, or even as a quesadilla, for $14.50. The Chingon (don’t ask what it means) is also $9 and $14.50. It’s a combo of steak and shrimp, and a delicious-sounding combo of pico de gallo, avocado, cream, and cheese. Two of the cheaper ones are the grilled mussel ($5 for the taco, and $14.50 for the burrito/quesadilla), and the veggie ($5 taco, and only $8 for the burrito or quesadilla). And a “San Felipe Taco.” “We put a really interesting collage of seafood in that,” Dulce says, “just like you’d have down in San Felipe, where the whole fish taco thing started.”

Kiko’s got famous as a Mission Valley food truck. Now they’ve expanded downtown.

Indeed, San Felipe is where her dad (Francisco — Kiko) started their fish taco business in 1983, right around the time Ralph Rubio was also bringing San Felipe-style fish tacos up to San Diego.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Of course, I go for the Monday deal. The OG Fish Taco and the shrimp taco. I make sure to slather them with onions, a couple of big, slimy, yellow and green sautéed peppers, and limes. And the tall pots of hot sauces. Red, blue, purple, green, yellow. “Yellow’s the hottest one,” says Dulce. And then I’m outside on a tall stool, making an unholy mess! Really, I haven’t had better tacos for yonkers. (It helps that they have Jamaica, the red hibiscus iced tea, to help it all down. Costs around four bucks.)

Lightning never strikes twice? Let’s test that theory. Wednesday, I jes’ happen to be passing along that same wicked patch of C Street in the Blue Line trolley again. Must say, it’s turning into an interesting half-block, starting with Resident Brewing, — the beautiful small brewery at one end, — and ending with The Local, the pub around the corner, which tonight (around six o’clock) is about to host a popular-looking quiz night, and then the Brooklyn, which I happen to know does great pizzas, and padaah!, in the middle, brand-new and lined with bright colored umbrellas, Kiko’s Place, brick and mortar version. They’ve come a long way.

I jump off at Civic Center and walk back. Seems Dulce’s here most days now, and tonight, she’s with Anya the server and Diana the cook. “Today’s special is special,” Dulce says. “Only $5.99 on Wednesdays. Rest of the week it’s $9. It’s the Seafood Mixed Taco, and it has fish, shrimp, octopus, scallops, mussels, smoked fish, crab, grilled veggies, and melted cheese on top. And it all comes with bell peppers, onions, cilantro and tomato.”

Of course I have to have it. “Come sit with us,” says Dulce when she brings it out, and the four of us — Dulce, Anya, Diana and I — have a nice conversation. Or rather, the ladies talk while I make a proper mess of myself, chomping mussels, scallops, smoked fish, crab, on and on. Oh, and a Mexican Coke ($4). But this super taco has got me beat. I ask chef Diana to wrap the remains. No worries: I can already taste the sabroso breakfast that’s gonna come out of tomorrow morning’s frypan. ■

The Place: Kiko’s Place, 407 C Street, downtown, 619-432-10095

Hours: 9am-7pm daily (closed Sunday).

Prices: OG fish taco (fried with cabbage, pico de gallo, cream), $3.50; Monday special, OG fish taco, shrimp taco, $5.99; Tuesday special, 3 fish tacos, or one OG fish taco, one fish ceviche, $6.99; Wednesday special, seafood mix taco, $5.99; Thursday special, spicy fish taco, fish ceviche, $9.99; Friday special, Krazy ceviche, $18;“famous Viagra seafood mix,” $20; XX large, $28

Buses: all downtown

Nearest Bus Stop: 6th and Broadway

Trolleys: Blue Line, Orange Line, Silver Line

Nearest Trolley Stop: 5th Avenue

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