One of my favorite seafood restaurants has no fancy cutlery, no pressed linen tablecloths, and no crystal wine goblets. Heck, it doesn’t even have a front door.
It’s a taco truck that’s permanently anchored in a parking lot in San Jose.
I have my friend Sarah to thank for turning me on to Dia de Pesca, a quirky, lovable eatery that’s been around for about two years, churning out impeccably fresh Mexican seafood dishes.
Plus, who can resist a place whose name translates into “Gone fishing”?
Get in line — as there’s almost always one — to place your order at the taco truck. The wipe-board lists that day’s fresh seafood offerings. Pick your favorite and enjoy it in soft tacos, enchiladas, bouillabaisse, salads, fajitas, or tostadas. There are oysters on the half shell ($6.46 for a half dozen), or done up “Mejicana”- style with chorizo and pico de gallo ($8.50 for six).
The seafood comes from nearby Race Street Seafood retailer/wholesaler. Dia de Pesca goes through so much fresh seafood each day, its owner told me, that the owner of Race Street Seafood came by once to see for himself. He couldn’t believe a taco truck could be selling that much seafood each day. He left duly impressed.
Once you’ve placed your order, grab a table in the parking lot, where a server will bring your food out to you. You have to give the Dia de Pesca folks credit; as far as parking lots go, this one has uber ambience. Heavy, tiled benches and patio tables with umbrellas dot the parking lot, along with big, brightly colored planters filled with lush greenery that help shield the busy intersection of N. Bascom Avenue and W. San Carlos Street.
I almost always have the aqua fresca of the day ($1.50), which is stored in a large glass jar by the register. It’s scooped and poured into a plastic cup when you order. It was a delightful strawberry-kiwi blend the last time I was there.
My husband noshed on the hefty chimichanga ($8.50), filled with his choice of salmon. The huge golden, crispy log came mounded with avocado and sour cream sauces. It was a manly meal to be sure.
I have a soft spot for soft fish tacos ($3.25 each), so I opted for one with ahi tuna, and another with halibut. The grilled-fish tacos are topped with cabbage, avocado sauce, and chipotle sauce. The ahi was a tad more seared than I would have liked, but the freshness sang through and the array of textures was like playtime in my mouth.
Fresh-as-can-be seafood, served up simply and expertly in memorable surroundings. For a satisfying al fresco lunch, it’s hard to beat Dia de Pesca. It’s the little taco truck that could.