Very Important Taco: Stingray Taco at TJ Oyster Bar

The South Bay mariscos institution is known for its fresh raw bar, octopus, and smoked and fried fish tacos, but they also cook up a marine delicacy that you don’t commonly see around town: stingray.

It’s not as bizarre as it may seem. Although we shuffle our feet to avoid them in the water, seafood lovers have no reason to fear them in a tortilla.

A close relative to sharks, rays are consumed around the world in a variety of preparations: fermented in Iceland, grilled in Southeast Asian countries, cooked in a stew called cahuamanta in Baja, and at TJ Oyster Bar, finely shredded (it could easily be mistaken for pork at first glance) and slow-cooked in a light broth with onions and peppers. The flavor is surprisingly not fishy or gamey at all—it’s clean and nicely soaks up all the broth, leaving a mild aftertaste reminiscent of squid or cuttlefish.

Order it in a taco topped with cilantro, raw onions, and crema, or atop a crunchy tostada or even in a burrito, and wash it down with a spicy michelada.

Three locations in San Diego 


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