The Chef of Fish Taco is Eddie Moran, former Chef de Cuisine of Sou’Wester. He conceptualized the menu, and is working daily on-site. Yesterday, I had a late lunch there, and he was sitting at a table, prepping one of his employees.
Figuring everyone is going to be ordering fish tacos, I decided to try something different, and went with a Grilled Skirt Steak Burrito ($9) with Mexican rice, beans, grilled scallions, mushroom escabeche, and crema; and a Diet Coke ($2 with refills). Fish Taco also has soups, salads, quesadillas – it’s a classic quick-serve taqueria, but with very expensive, modern equipment (Cvap Silver Edition, NuVU Smoke 13 (all the chiles and tomatoes for the salsa are smoked, and the brisket is smoked for 12 hours), Vulcan Range, infrared gas grill, etc.). They’re sourcing their tortillas and corn chips from a local tortilla maker – Casa Blanca.
Fish Taco seems destined to be a chain, but the single most important thing for you to remember is that right now, it isn’t. (Do you remember at the very first Cava Mezze Grill, they had a pot of lamb braising on the stove? No longer.) It will take Fish Taco days, perhaps weeks, to settle in – both the service and some of the recipes are still being tweaked – but once it does, I suspect it will never be better than it is now, with Chef Moran almost literally at the stove. There was a slight flaw in my burrito in that some component of it had a touch too much reduced vinegar flavor which came close to dominating, but this is the type of thing that is quickly and easily addressed.
I wrote Chef Moran about the burrito, and here’s more information than you could possibly dream of having, but it’s indicative of the pride that he has put into his work:
“So, the burrito is made with local flour tortillas; Mexican rice perfumed with clove orange and achiote; the beans are also vegetarian, made with garlic cumin epazote; skirt steak is rubbed with an adobo chile paste that we make with the best dried chiles from The Chile Guy in New Mexico grilled in small batches; grilled scallions; poblano a chile rajas; portobello mushroom escabeche – that’s where the acid was from actually [I mentioned this component to him]; then finished with a chipotle crema that we make our own chipotle adobo out of – morita chipotles and really good quality Mexican crema which is creamy, a little grassy, and has a nice touch of salinity.”
Based on everything I’ve now read, seen and experienced, my best guess is to wait a week or two, then go and give it a try. Initialized in Italic.