A Four-Star Taco Truck

Chow down on a seafood chimichanga.

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”?

You've come to the right place.

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.

The hardest part is figuring out what to order. You want the entire menu.

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.

Refresh with an aqua fresca.

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.

Ahi fish taco.

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Date: Wednesday, 27. May 2009 4:01
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: General, Great Finds, Restaurants, Seafood

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19 comments

  1. 1

    What heavenly looking food! I love tacos!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. 2

    Seems like every day lately a new food trailer pops up nearby. Sadly, none of ours look as amazing as this. I would be in line there every day!

  3. 3

    taco trucks are so fun! actually any kind of truck selling food is fun.. have you been to a korean taco truck? SOO yummy!

  4. 4

    Thumbs up! By the way, what kind of camera do you use to get these gorgeous snapshots?

  5. 5

    I’ve been meeting to check it out, glad you liked it. I’ve heard good things!!

  6. 6

    wow a salmon chimichanga! that looks delicious, I sent a link to Mr. K who works nearby – looks like a great place.

  7. 7

    Something about this article made me think of the comment by Vogue editor Anna Wintour quoted in the current issue of Time: “I’d just been on a trip to Minnesota, where I can only describe most of the people I saw as little houses.”

  8. 8

    I was introduced to fish tacos when I lived in San Diego and really got to like them. These look delicious, would love to have some of that salmon chimichanga!

  9. 9

    DessertObsessed: I am dying to try a Korean taco truck, but haven’t yet. Anything with kimchee and I’m sooo there.

    Henry: You flatter me. My photography is still a work in progress. The writing comes easier as I’ve done it so much longer. I still find taking photos quite the challenge. I use a Canon XSI. Not that I know what every button on the camera does, though. Hopefully, that will come with time.

  10. 10

    oh you’re speaking my language. If I had not had a taco truck experience last night, I’d be grabbing hubby and heading off in search of one now. Somehow when your biting into one of those tacos, its hard to think of anything more perfect, although I have to say the olive oil ice cream I had from Humphrey Slocumps just before certainly came close.

  11. 11

    wow- this looks incredible! so nice and fresh. I love tacos that are “real” like this and not all taco bell style.

  12. 12

    I wish we had taco trucks in suburban DC. This looks fabulous and reminds me of the competing
    “trucks” outside the call center I worked with in Monterrey, Mexico. I loved traveling to that site and mostly for the food! We’d arrive for work in the morning and on a break head right out to the street to have tacos for breakfast

    I just read an article about how frequently trucks are popping up in these recessionary times — helping people eat good food for less. I just wish we had this scene in suburban Washington, DC. We’re really missing out.

    Thanks for sharing your find with us.

  13. 13

    The more hole-in-the-wall the better, especially when it comes to Mexican (at least imo). This place looks amazing!

  14. 14

    I’ve not had a good fish taco in a long time. Thanks for the tip! Next time I’m in the Race St. neighborhood I’ll make a stop.

    Have you tried the El Paisa truck on Senter Rd? They’ve got the best al pastor tacos.

    http://chezannies.blogspot.com/2008/12/el-paisa-taqueria-san-jose.html

  15. 15

    I’ve passed that place several times and always wondered about the food since there always seemed to be a bunch of folks there. I’ll have to give it a try.

  16. 16

    The last time I had great fish tacos was in San Luis Obispo over a year ago. Will someone please drive one of these trucks over here to Minneapolis?!

  17. 17

    Great thinkers often come up w/ the same idea simultaneously — http://www.nosaladasameal.com/2009/05/follow-that-taco-truck.html

  18. 18

    Awesome! How on earth did I miss this post? This is perfect. My in laws will be arriving soon and they just love seafood. I’m not a huge fan of shellfish but I do enjoy fish tacos.

    Race Street Seafood. How could I forget? I have such fond memories of going there when I was younger! Thanks for the reminder.

    Oh boy. This is so timely. Now I have some ideas of what to serve the in laws (which is a source of stress for me LOL). I don’t think they’ve tried seafood tacos before. Yay. And South Bascom isn’t too far from me either.

    Thanks so much :-)

  19. 19

    This place was reviewed by the San Jose Mercury News shortly after it opned. The owner used to run a couple of different, nicely regarded restaurants in San Jose and wanted to run a cool place where the focus was on the food. I have visited it many times and it’s the best, with fish tacos to die for. The quirky parking lot is funny. There used to be a mechanic that had his business on this site, then it was a garden statuary business and now the home of the great Dia de Pesca. A fun addition to the neighborhood, right down the street from Bill’s, with an awesome breakfast & lunch menu.

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