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Matthew Lickona 6 p.m., Nov. 17
The opening of another fish taco shop in the Bird Rock/Pacific Beach area isn’t newsworthy; there’s one on almost every corner. So when I saw a line out the door at a tiny little storefront on Turquoise Street, I figured it was worth a stop.
Oscar’s Mexican Seafood has only been open for nine months, but it’s already built a solid following among the locals for serving ultra fresh, inexpensive fare.
The kitchen is twice as big as the minuscule dining area, but there are a few tables and a long counter outside.
I ordered a battered fish taco ($1.99, you can also get it grilled), a spicy shrimp taco ($3.49) and agua fresca ($1.50). Each came dressed with thinly sliced cabbage, chopped tomato and red onion, and a shower of cilantro leaves. A large slice of creamy ripe avocado graced the spicy shrimp. You can choose from three homemade salsas, cilantro, chipotle, and habanero or a large assortment of bottled sauces.
The spicy shrimp was plump, sweet and perfectly grilled. I didn’t do a shrimp count, but the tortilla was stuffed — every bite had a good amount. It was spicy enough, but not overly so. I added more heat with the red chili salsa. I should have eaten the fish taco first; by the time I got to it the batter had softened somewhat, but the fish was moist and tender, the smoky chipotle salsa complemented it perfectly. All of the garnishes were top notch, fresh and flavorful.
The agua fresca flavors change frequently; mine was a lovely strawberry-lime. So refreshing and light.
I’ve heard that the smoked marlin taco is superb, and the ceviche is so popular that they sometimes run out early.
Oscar’s Mexican Seafood is cash only, but there’s an ATM onsite. Also, there’s no sign other than the one on the door, so don’t blink or you’ll drive right by.
703 Turquoise St., La Jolla, CA 92037
Hours: Mon-Thu 10 am - 9 pm; Fri-Sat 10 am - 10 pm