I literally jumped with joy the day I heard Wahoo’s Fish Taco was arriving on our very own State Street. Growing up, I had stopped for these incredible fish tacos during trips to Orange County, where the restaurant was born, and always considered it a treat. Now I am able to bask in the deliciousness that is Wahoo’s on my own turf – and am delighted to report it has not lost that unique Southern California surf vibe that made it such a success in the first place.
Since fish tacos are in the name, on can go out on a limb and assume that they are most likely the Wahoo’s specialty. I refused to try anything else for almost my first 10 visits, figuring if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. There isn’t anything “broke” about these tacos of grilled white fish (usually maji maji) and soft corn tortillas. I always opt for the blackened fish for that little extra kick, but of course they also serve tacos of chicken, carne asada, shrimp, carnitas and veggies. The best thing is that they are cheap, as the best tacos always are.
However, it took a recent trip with a wise friend for me to finally discover another specialty of Wahoo’: the Maui Bowl. They call is a bowl but it is more like an experience – a whirlwind of rice, beans and teriyaki carne asada pulsing through your taste buds. If my language seems hyperbolic, then you clearly have not yet shared this experience and owe it to yourself to add that one to your bucket list.
The Wahoo’s experience is completed by the friendliness of the employees, who greet each customer upon entering and with a true sense of sincerity. The vibe is very casual, with surfing on the televisions and stickers plastered all over the walls and tables. It is quick because you go up to the counter to order, but they still bring the food to you and treat you like a valued patron at a sit-down restaurant. I’ve taken an affinity to their increasing selection of good beers and consider it the ideal place for a low-budget, laid-back meal with friends, especially after a day at the beach.
They say money can’t buy happiness, but for under $10 it can definitely ensure a couple quality vibes and tacos to set you on the right path.
Until next time,
The Hungry Gaucho