14 Apr 2008 @ 2:46 AM 

A little more history on your favorite critic:  I grew up in South Texas.  When I was there I had access to some pretty darn tasty Mexican food.  I moved to Omaha a while ago and have been hard pressed to get good Mexican food.  Only a few places I have been to, can really capture the right flavor.  I think I may have another place to add to that very short list. 

Several days ago I received a request to try San Diego Taco from the owner.  I have to be honest, it was my first invite.  I didn’t know how to really handle it.  Do I announce myself or do I just kick back and see what happens.  I opted for kicking back.  So?  Now what?  Oh yeah… review.  😉

San Diego Taco is located just east of 108th on Mockingbird drive in a small strip mall.  It’s next to the nail salon.  It’s hard to spot, but worth the search.

The first thing I need to say is that the website’s address doesn’t reflect anything about San Diego Taco.  That’s a mistake.  Why do I say that?  I say that because we are a connected society, and people want to know about a place before they go.  Well… I guess that’s why I’m here.  😀

So, the website’s name is www.cateringbypaul.com, and the site doesn’t have any obvious references to San Diego Taco.  Ok… I’m a food critic, not a web design critic. 

I took the kids in and sat.  The place is VERY unassuming and the painted red floor was cute.  It looked to be an old clothing boutique and has a faux shingle roof hanging on the inside.  Kind of like Le Mesa on 108th but I don’t think it was intentional by the current owner.  I was a little worried when I walked in that this was going to be a disappointment.  That couldn’t have been farther from the truth.  Now, we took our seat and we were greeted and were offered drinks and chips and salsa.  The drinks were canned and the Chips and Salsa were like $1.75.  That kina cheesed me a little when I found out that they cost something, but quickly got over it when I began to mow through the chips and salsa.  It had a little more garlic than what I make, but I couldn’t stop eating it.  It was sooo good.  There were a couple of other bottles on the table as well.  A green/verde – lime sauce and another red chipotle sauce.  None of these were hot for me, but they had a great flavor.  The boys got chicken tacos, one daughter got a chicken burrito and the other got the carne asada taco.  As for me, I got the Friday night special: Two roasted cod tacos on flour tortillas with this lime-cream sauce and cabbage with a side of beans and rice.

So we get our food, and I look down at these two tacos and noticed how evenly the cabbage was sliced.  They were almost artistic.  They were two freaking tacos and I am sitting here focus on the cabbage.  I felt silly and picked them up and bit in.  Now understand, I have had fish tacos before and I had some predetermined flavor in my head for how these things were going to taste.  I bit into this thing and it shattered my preconceived notion of how this was going to taste.  The cod was so delicate but the flavor of the fish and the sauce just danced across my tongue like lightning.  I think the only words I could squeeze out for the first few minutes were ‘MMM!’ and ‘OH MY GOD!’  So rarely does a dish just capture me anymore.  I honestly got lost in the flavor of these things.  I was thinking about putting the verde on them, I am so glad I never made that mistake.  They didn’t need it.  They were so good. 

Across the table one of my daughters was eating her carne asada taco, and I quickly plucked a piece of steak from it.  Just the right amount of cilantro, seasoned perfectly.  My god it was good.  I thought about trading her, but I wasn’t going to let anyone eat my food.  I kind of felt territorial.  It was so good, I ordered 2 carne asada tacos to go, wrapped them in foil, and towels hoping they would stay fresh until my wife gets home from Indianapolis.  We’ll see what she thinks.

The service wasn’t bad.  The waitress was VERY friendly and made sure that we had everything we needed.  They are typically only open for lunch during the week and only serve dinner on Fridays. (They use the lunch menu too.)  They are also –NOT- open on weekends.  For us poor working stiffs that stinks.

Overall impression: The food blew me away.  It was inexpensive and had me questioning why I started a stupid diet. 

Plusses: Can we say some of the best food I put in my mouth?  Wait staff was attentive. Prices were awesome.  If I could rate it based on food alone, I would rate it a 5 out of 5.  I loved it.

Minuses: Décor is a little off, no beer, and no soda machine.  YOU NEED TO BE OPEN ON WEEKENDS!!  I NEED MORE!

 ~The Omaha Critic

(Update 4/14/2008:)

I tried the margaritas.  Hand crafted, good flavor.  These are a must!


Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 14 Apr 2008 @ 04:40 PM



Responses to this post » (7 Total)

  1. Sammy…. YOU NEED TO EAT HERE! Mmmmm….

    ~The Omaha Critic

  2. I have to say, the carne asada tacos were great even hours later! I can’t wait to go in and try the cod tacos one of these days.

    Hey Paul – stay open on the weekend sometime!

  3. Bill says:

    I love this little restaurant. I try to visit local places as much as possible, and what SD Taco lacks in atmosphere (and it does lack in atmosphere) it more than makes up for in food quality and friendly service. I look forward to visiting soon and having a beer or margarita with dinner. They are applying for a liquor license.

  4. Paul says:

    Hey everyone we got that liquor license! Come try an outstanding margarita. It is made with 100% agave tequila, house made orange liquor(spirits, citrus peel, and other spices macerated for optimum flavor.) and REAL key lime juice. We are also working on the decor. Come visit us soon.

  5. God, I could use one today. 😉

  6. Kerri says:

    Do you know where Chef Paul went? I sooooo miss his fish tacos and have not found anything comparable anywhere in Omaha!

  7. Here’s a note I got from Chef Paul:

    Submitted on 2009/08/01 at 4:04pm
    Hey critics,

    Paul here from SDT. Yeah I had to shut the doors. Jan and Feb were freaking BAD! Got a new gig in Dundee, “The 1020″ might want to check it out sometime. American Italian fare.

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