Fish Tacos

Popularized by local surfer Ralph Rubio in 1983 at his chain of fast-food taco shops, the traditional Baja California Rubio's, fish taco recipe calls for batter-dipped, deep-fried fillets. Grilled fish, used in this recipe from Anthony’s Fish Grotto, has emerged as the healthier pick. Both versions are ubiquitous at San Diego’s Mexican and seaside restaurants.



4 2-1/4-ounce pieces of fish
4 corn tortillas
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup jalapeño ranch dressing (see recipe below)
1 tablespoon guacamole
1/4 cup shredded cheddar or queso fresco cheese
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 cup salsa (your favorite brand)

Jalapeño ranch dressing

1 pint bottled ranch dressing
1/4 cup cilantro, stemmed and chopped
1/2 jalapeño pepper, fresh, minced, discard seeds, or to taste


Combine all jalapeño ranch dressing ingredients, mix well, and set aside. Makes one pint of dressing.

Grill fish one minute per side. (Optional: Baste with melted butter mixed with a little taco seasoning.) Warm tortillas on a grill. Place fish in tortillas first, then top with other ingredients, including a dollop of the dressing. Serve with warmed black beans, if desired.

Servings: Serves two


This traditional Mexican dip is a local staple for many due to the preponderance of avocados grown in San Diego. Our recipe is adapted from the popular version served at Old Town’s Casa Guadalajara.


4 Hass avocados
1 small lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder


Cut avocados in half and remove seeds. Scoop pulp into medium bowl. Mash avocado with a fork. Mix in all other ingredients. Chill, if desired, and serve as an appetizer with tortilla chips or as a topping or accompaniment for any dish.

Servings: Serves four to six

Lobster Ceviche

Ceviche is a traditional Latin American seafood side dish or appetizer, which “cooks” raw seafood (typically shrimp or scallops and fish) in a marinade of citrus juice, and is served cold. As a crustacean, lobsters are not always safe for this practice, but La Jolla’s Zenbu restaurant has a prudent interpretation.


2 1-1/2 pound lobsters, boiled in salted water with lemon for 8-10 minutes
2 tomatillos diced
1 bunch of cilantro chopped
2 serrano (hot) chiles diced
6 limes juiced
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste


Soak boiled lobsters in salt and lemon ice bath for 15 minutes, drain. Dice lobster when cooled into chunks and mix together with the remaining ingredients. Serve with fresh corn tortilla chips.

Servings: Serves four to six


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