Fish Tacos in La Jolla
Fish tacos are so much a part of our coastal La Jolla dining cuisine and culture that you might think they've been around forever. But it wasn't until 1983 that Ralph Rubio and his father Roy decided to introduce the fish taco they enjoyed in Baja California to Southern Californians.
Roy and Ralph Rubio opened their first fish taco stand on Mission Bay Drive off the 5 Freeway. Today, there are more than 200 Rubio's throughout the Southwest, with close to 50 in San Diego and one here in La Jolla on Fay Avenue, just seven miles from the original (which is still open). The interior of the local La Jolla fish taco shop has been designed with eco-friendly materials in soothing colors and fishing village scenes. The menu is a nutritious one, featuring fresh ingredients, and no trans far, lard or MSG. At the heart of their "fiesta of flavor" is the original fish taco, consisting of corn or flour tortillas, fresh fried or grilled fish, cabbage and the famous white sauce (a mixture of mayonnaise and yogurt). Rubio's also offers shrimp, beef, chicken and vegetarian tacos, burritos, salads, and many side dishes, including pinto or black beans, rice, chips and a salsa bar. Special meals area also available for kids and special catering menus for your next business meeting or private party.
Another popular fish taco hangout is Wahoo's, on Pearl Street. The first Wahoo's opened in 1988, founded by brothers Wing Lam, Ed Lee and Mingo Lee, whose parents owned Chinese restaurants in Brazil and then Orange County. The brothers grew up helping out in the restaurants and wanted to introduce an eclectic menu that combined their love of food and surfing and featured the fish tacos they found on the Mexican coast. They opened their first restaurant in Costa Mesa with donations from local surf companies. Today there are more than 50 Wahoo's locations throughout the country. The menu includes tacos and burritos with several choices of fillings, including fish, shrimp, carnitas, chicken, tofu and vegetarian. Customers can also order these fillings in bowls, served over rice and beans. Other dishes are chips and salsa, quesadillas, taquitos, tortilla soup, salads and sandwiches. Wahoo's also offers catering services, party packs and a kid's menu.
Another option for fish tacos in La Jolla is Don Bravo Quality Mexican Grill on La Jolla Boulevard in Bird Rock. The restaurant is operated by the Bravo family, who opened their first restaurant in 1980 in Ixtapa / Zihuatanejo, Mexico, 150 miles south of Acapulco. All food is made fresh, with no lard or MSG. Their fish tacos are available in full or mini sizes and include several varieties of fried or grilled seafood, including mahi-mahi, scallops, octopus, shrimp, salmon, calamari, tuna, or lobster. In addition, Don Bravo offers meat and chicken tacos and a large selection of burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, salads, tortas and combination plates. Open at 9 a.m., Don Bravo also serves traditional Mexican breakfasts if you're not in the mood for a fish taco at that hour. And on weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. the restaurant hosts a happy hour.
If you're up in the UTC area, check out Fins Mexican Eatery for another healthy and delicious La Jolla fish taco option. Conveniently located in the La Jolla Village Mall near the AMC Theaters, World Market and Best Buy, Fins is a favorite stop for shoppers and moviegoers. Fins is a family-run business that first opened in 1989. All food items are prepared fresh daily. The menu offers a wide variety of soft and crispy tacos, including fish, shrimp and lobster and a dozen burritos, including fish, bean and cheese, carnitas, steak, chicken, veggie and breakfast (egg, ham, potato, cheese). In addition, you can select rolled tacos, quesadillas, tostadas, nachos and salads and several combination plates with sides of beans and chips.