Tuesday, January 3, 2012

This fish taco blogger trades the Little Apple in for the Big

New Year's Eve brought me back to New York City and I was introduced to another fish taco establishment. Nestled in the heart of Nolita, Tacombi has quite the interesting hipster vibe. The first thing you notice when entering the warehouse/garage space is the perma-parked vintage VW bus with a pop-up roof. There is a surf-shack style open kitchen in back, folding tables and chairs scattered throughout and the place is decorated with stringed lights and tropical potted plants. The name Tacombi is a play on the words "taco" and "combi" (van). Orders are taken at a counter and made up at the bus which gets its fixins from the kitchen in back. The atmosphere may be campy and theatrical, but it does evoke being at a Yucatan beach shack. Tacombi was indeed originally a taco stand in Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya.

The taqueria had a number of fishy options for us to sample: Crispy Fish (beer battered fish, chipotle mayo, cabbage slaw), Seared Veracruzana Fish (seared fish, roasted tomato, caper and olive salsa), Pescado a la Plancha con Pina (seared fish and grilled pineapple salsa), Crispy Shrimp (beer battered shrimp in a salsa borracha), and Seared Shrimp (seared shrimp in a salsa borracha). Served on small tin plates, each double tortilla'd taco ran around $4-5 and had enough filling to make two. Outside of the pineapple salsa version, which they were out of, we sampled all they had to offer. Some fishy tacos were better than others. While most were a bit on the bland side, the Crispy Fish was indeed crisp and tasted freshly fried. The only thing that did not work was the overly strong mayo taste of the sauce. What really made a positive impression on us were the non-fishy tacos such as the Al Pastor (marinated pork and roast pineapple) and especially the Maiz y Poblano (sweet corn, poblano peppers, cotija cheese). But unfortunately for Tacombi, it's the fishy tacos we are reviewing.

So in summary, come check out the hipster vibe, eat some non-fishy tacos and wash it all down with hibiscus tea, spiked horchata or (my favorite) watermelon lime sangria. This place is worth a visit.

at Fonda Nolita
267 Elizabeth Street
NYC, NY 10012
(917) 727-0179


3.5 out of 4 fishies.

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