Taco Surf is a small chain of surf-themed (duh) restaurants in Southern California. If you close your eyes and picture a joint where sun-bleached surfer brahs, looking to shred the gnar go, this is the place. For the last 12 years, I’ve been traveling to California to visit my brahs, and almost every time I make a stop at Taco Surf. Most of the time it’s been the Long Beach location, but they all basically have the same vibe going on….except for the fact that everyone at the Long Beach spot has a fake connection to Bradley Nowell, but whatever.
It’s a great place to go, especially for happy hour, something we don’t have here in Chicago. Every weekday, from 2-6, you can enjoy $1.50 tacos and $2.50 beers. Back when I had more hair, it was $1 tacos and $1 beers. Pretty awesome.
On my most recent visit, we made a spontaneous pit stop in Surfside….or Sunset Beach….or Huntington Beach. You see, the land has been annexed by Huntington Beach, but the address on Google maps says Sunset Beach, and their website says Surfside. So, take your pick.
We got there in time for happy hour. I ordered two surf (pescado and shrimp) and two turf (al pastor and asada) tacos.
The tacos are all served California White Boy style. That is, they have lettuce, pico, cheese and guacamole on top. Guacamole is a requirement on all tacos in the Golden State, by California Law #3C, article 2, section A, lines 3-7.
The turf portion of my meal was very good. The al pastor is seasoned well, and has a nice amount of spice. With a large hunk of meat, and all the toppings, each taco is a decent amount of food. Even with the meat buried in toppings, you can taste the paprika and spice on the pork. The asada taco is very similar in my liking. The steak is cooked well, has great grill flavor and texture and stays moist. Both are good for any taco spot.
The surf part, however, was outstanding. You can get the fish either baha style, or grilled. I elected for grilled this time. The fish is juicy, tasty, and, yet, not overpowering. It tastes very fresh and fits the ambiance Taco Surf provides.
The shrimp taco, however, is my favorite. I just love their shrimp. It isn’t too chewy and has a nice crunch. They don’t skimp on the shrimp (band name?) either. Each bite is filled with mouth-watering shrimpy goodness. If I were to elect a California state taco, this would be it.
Maybe because of the nostalgia I have for this place…maybe because I was on vacation in sunny California away from work…maybe because it was happy hour in a fun setting…or maybe because I was with my princess, my beloved friend Sara, and our supermodel friend Alise, looking like a pimp…whatever the reason, I loved my stop at Taco Surf.
Who knows, it coulda been the $2.50 Dos Equis too?….This place may be a little cliche, especially for people who live here, but I’m still a big fan.
I guess you could say, this place is sublime.
- Location: 1681 Pacific Coast Hwy., Surfside, CA (Orange County)
- Tourists: Josh, Julia, Alise, Sara
- Tacos sampled: asada, pescado, al pastor, shrimp (also have shredded beef, ground beef, chicken, baja fish, carnitas and veggie)
- Toppings: lettuce, pico de gallo, cheese and guacamole
- Salsa: salsa roja (chunky), salsa mild (gringo), salsa caliente (habanero)
- Extras: chips
- Tortillas: corn or hardshell
- Atmosphere: beachy, surfy, friendly, fresh, sooooo California
- Price: $3.25-$4.25/taco
- OVERALL RATING: 8.0