Fish Guts is the new hot spot for fresh, imaginative, and delicious San Diego seafood tacos. The cozy, yet airy taqueria opened in early 2023 in the vibrant Barrio Logan neighborhood. Prepare to embark on a culinary adventure as we dive into this taqueria’s fish tale, where the name might raise an eyebrow, but the flavors will leave you speechless.
Meticulously Crafted Tortillas Elevate Taco Experience
When I sat down at the front counter to order, a familiar face greeted me through the pass opening. It was none other than chef Pablo Sandoval, Fish Guts’ chef-owner. My first encounter with Sandoval was in 2021 at Mujeres Brew House in San Diego, where he and his cousin Patricio Sandoval operated the Tres Marias taco truck.
What made their tacos guisados truly exceptional in part were the tortillas – meticulously made from nixtamal. A traditional method that involves soaking corn in chemical lime before grinding, kneading, and pressing. The result? A parade of street-size, flavor-packed tacos that left a lasting impression.
Fish Guts is also committed to the use of authentic tortillas, a principle that Sandoval staunchly upholds. Every day, he receives a fresh delivery of white corn nixtamal from Gabriel’s Tortillería, located in the heart of Barrio Logan. Sandoval seasons the masa with just the right balance of salt and oil. He explains, “A lot of local mariscos (seafood) taquerias rely on store-bought corn tortillas. I want to showcase the flavors of my tacos in the best manner possible, using only the best ingredients.”
Art on a Tortilla
The supple, pliant tortillas at Fish Guts act as the perfect vessel to flawlessly carry the sublime creations of some of the most exceptional San Diego seafood tacos. Each of Sandoval’s tacos is a work of art, honoring its traditional inspiration while simultaneously elevating it to new heights.
An example is Fish Guts’ enticing twist on the classic al pastor taco. In this delectable rendition, the traditional pork is replaced by succulent salmon. The salmon is marinated in a luscious blend of chile guajillo and achiote, infusing it with a tantalizing depth of flavor. Dressed with cured onion, fresh cilantro, and the requisite pineapple, every bite is a symphony of taste.
Coconut shrimp is a popular dish in seafood restaurants throughout Southern California. The De Coco taco at Fish Guts offers a unique twist by presenting this delightful dish as a taco. Plump Baja California shrimp are generously coated in a crispy coconut batter and deep-fried to perfection. The taco is then dressed with a heavenly Mexican coleslaw, zesty pico de gallo, and a delectable chipotle aioli. For taco enthusiasts seeking a hint of sweetness, the De Coco taco is a must try.
One of my top picks is the De Espada. This tantalizing taco features locally sourced swordfish, skillfully blackened, and accompanied by a kick of jalapeño slaw and a zesty, spicy aioli. What sets it apart is the singular flavor of the seasoning that coats the firm and meaty swordfish. According to Sandoval, they invested considerable effort in crafting the perfect swordfish rub. When I praised its simplicity, he emphasized, “I’m not here to serve you fancy tacos with edible flowers.” At Fish Guts, the emphasis lies in the excellence of the ingredients rather than elaborate presentation.
Seafood Taco Paradise: Unforgettable Flavors Await
Fish Guts offers a variety of gluten-free taco options. And for those seeking alternatives to seafood, their menu features the irresistible De Hongos taco, boasting a luscious blend of marinated oyster, cremini, and shitake mushrooms.
Each order includes two tacos of the same type, with prices ranging from $9 for the mushroom taco to $12 for the blackened swordfish. Considering the exceptional quality on offer, it’s a small price to pay, in this writer’s opinion.
Fish Guts also serves a range of local Mexican craft beers, refreshing micheladas, house-made aguas frescas, and mixology creations showcasing wine derived from Mexican agave. This unique beverage selection presents a distinct proposal, brimming with vibrant and robust Mexican flavors.
Fish Guts is the ultimate destination for San Diego seafood tacos. Don’t let the name fool you—the flavors at Fish Guts will leave you craving more. From their meticulously made tortillas to their creative twists on classic recipes, every bite is a taste sensation. Embark on a culinary adventure and see for yourself why Fish Guts is the talk of the town.
Fish Guts is located at 2222 Logan Ave, San Diego, CA 92113. www.fishgutssandiego.com. Hours: Wed-Sat: 12pm – 9pm, Sun 12pm – 6pm, Closed Mon & Tue.
Disclaimer: Tacos during my visit were generously (and unexpectedly) comped by chef Sandoval. We will eagerly, hungrily return on our own dime for more. No compensation was received in exchange for this article and our opinions remain steadfastly our own.