East Beach Tacos's "Triple Play" costs $9 and includes a free token for the nearyby batting cage. Kendy Loi/Daily Nexus.

East Beach Tacos’s “Triple Play” costs $9 and includes a free token for the nearyby batting cage. Kendy Loi/Daily Nexus.

With spring weather approaching, you may want to take advantage of the breeze and sunshine by satisfying your cravings for eating al fresco — for eating some trendy tacos. East Beach Tacos offers a variety of interesting twists on taco combinations along with other traditional Mexican dishes such as tostadas for those who prefer more classic dishes. The most surprising combination in the end is pairing tacos with baseball; East Beach Tacos offers a free token for the batting cages with most purchases.

At first impression, East Beach Tacos may appear like an ordinary and humble taco stand, but on further inspection, the place is perfectly adorned with wooden furniture and décor along the fences of the batting cage. Delicate, hanging string lights complement the simplistic layout and give the environment a more relaxed atmosphere.

If you walk in expecting the typical taco dishes, you may be pleasantly surprised to find that East Beach Tacos combines popular cuisines from other cultures with taco classics to create intriguing dishes. However, if you are looking for authentic Mexican tacos, your options may be limited. The large number of options can be confusing too, so feel free to ask the cashier for recommendations. At the employee’s recommendation, I decided to go with the “Triple Play” which includes three tacos for $9. I ordered the Ahi Poke (one of East Beach’s top sellers), the Gangnam Style and a classic Carne Asada.

After about 10 minutes of waiting, the tacos came presented in a fish tray, colorfully aligned with bright tortilla chips on the side, perfect for the typical Instagram foodie picture.

The Gangnam Style taco contained Korean-style marinated short rib, cabbage, cilantro, green onion and a variety of pickled veggies like daikon radishes, carrots, cucumber, jalapeno and spicy chili, and it was all held in a crunchy corn tortilla shell. I was most hesitant to try this one, but the pickled veggies added the perfect amount of crispiness, texture and tanginess, which complemented the smoky character of the short rib.

The Carne Asada came with all the expected ingredients: marinated steak, cabbage, pico de gallo, guacamole and queso fresco in a classic toasted flour tortilla. While all the ingredients were fresh and the toasted flour tortilla gave the dish extra texture, for $3, the Carne Asada should’ve had more than the typical ingredients. Still delicious nonetheless, but personally, I would rather eat something more exotic for the price.

I saved the Ahi Poke for last since it was a customer favorite. Ahi Poke consists of a salad of raw ahi tuna, marinated red onion, red pepper and sesame seeds wrapped in a crispy wonton shell, which is drizzled with wasabi aioli. I loved the tuna, and the wasabi did not overpower the other flavors. Nor was it too spicy for first-timers. The contrast in texture between the fresh ahi tuna and wonton shell made it easy to understand this taco’s popularity. My only complaint was a bit too much soy sauce at the bottom making it slightly salty, but my friend didn’t have the same problem, so perhaps it was only my taco.

Soft music along with the sound of baseball bats serenaded my “Triple Play,” because the batting arena is right next to the outdoor tables. Unfortunately, free tokens can only be used on the same day as your purchase but bats and helmets are included. One token gets you 19 pitches and each token is about a $1.19 value. I have no experience with softball, but I got some good laughs out of it (especially at myself).

Overall, East Beach Tacos offers a family-friendly environment, and it even includes alcohol and beer for adults. It’s a great place for good company since it provides a laid-back atmosphere. When asked whether she’d come again, my friend replied, “The tacos are really good … I just don’t know if it’s good enough for the price.” Since the taco joint is more on the pricier side, it seems more suitable for a casual date with a friend since the tacos are fancier and pricier than average, and you can impress your date with your batting skills afterwards. For your next gourmet splurge or casual first date, swing by East Beach Tacos at 226 S. Milpas Street.