Tacos Ensenada Seafood

Top Ten Mexican Restaurants: No. 9, Novemeber 2010

The tiny Duarte restaurant is essentially a Baja taco stand backed against the San Gabriel Mountains. There are soups crammed with fish and diced vegetables and tall, chilled tumblers of cóctel de camarones, or shrimp cocktail. But good as they are, the reason you slogged up the 210 to get here is for the fish taco. The crackling batter that envelops the fish is cooled by a tangy crema and buoyed by a cabbage slaw—hand cut, not shredded. The seamless interplay of contrasts—one that so many places botch with mushy batter or rubbery fish—represents the fish taco in its purest form.