Everyday Eats: Tacos at Oscar's Mexican Seafood
One of San Diego's most-loved fish taco shops now has a second location in Ocean Beach
Oscar's Mexican Seafood, an established local favorite for tacos (fish, and otherwise) has opened a second outpost in an auspicious location: directly across the street from South Beach Bar & Grille, at the foot of Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach. How having these taco heavyweights separated by only two lanes of traffic plays out should be interesting to watch.
Both locations have their bonuses. South Beach has a full bar and a larger menu, while Oscar's has outdoor seating with views of the pier. Speaking strictly about the tacos, I've got to give the edge to the newcomer... but not for their fish taco. The battered and fried presentation is perfectly serviceable, but you can do better elsewhere. What you should come to Oscar's for is the surf and turf (steak and shirmp, $4.50), or skip the seafood entirely and go with a skirt steak taco ($4.50). It may seem counter-intuitive to order beef from a shop with "seafood" in their name, but the moist, marinated steak rivals just about any competitor. Want to add a fish taco for free? Time your visit for happy hour (2:30 to 5:30 p.m., Monday to Thursday) and get one gratis with any order.
Both options get dressed like a traditional fish taco (diced tomatoes and red onions, with cilantro and finely shredded cabbage), but underneath the steak (or steak and shrimp), there's also a creamy slice of cheese melted into the fluffy corn tortilla and a meaty hunk of avocado on top. Nab some of the creamy chipotle sauce and apply it liberally, but be sure to keep the paper boat within easy reach. Juices from the steak tend to run, making this a taco best enjoyed while seated. If you can't secure a patio seat, upgrade your taco to a burrito and grab a spot on the wall directly overlooking the beach. Having the extra protection from a heated and sealed tortilla is a great way to prevent tomatoes from tumbling out, which has two main bonuses: sparing your shorts from spills, and avoiding the inevitable influx of scavenging seagulls.
The Ocean Beach location of Oscar's Mexican Seafood is at 5058 Newport Ave (map). Cash only.