When I heard about a new mariscos food truck parking in Golden Hill, I started fluttering around it like a moth on a porchlight. Mariscos El Chingon has started parking daily in front of Anakin’s Barber Shop, about a half mile out my front door. A different mariscos truck, Mariscos Nine Seas, holds down a daily location a half mile in the other direction, and I frequently run over for tacos in between writing assignments.
I wasn’t about to hold El Chingon up to Nine Seas standards — those less than two dollar fish tacos are some of my favorites ever. But I’m not alone in thinking so, and there’s usually a long line. So if El Chingon’s tacos came remotely close, without the line, I could have a new instant gratification taco on my hands.
Sadly, I do not. Whether they’re made from cod or tilapia (I’ve gotten different answers on different days), neither the batter nor the fish itself tasted worth the $2 and scant effort to visit. It’s not terrible, but neither is it good enough to compete with other tacos available to me.
That’s okay, I figured, you can usually count on decent ceviche. It’s made with shrimp and/or pollack (or maybe something different), and the $10 Tostada Chingona is stacked high with both. But my $3 fish ceviche wouldn’t have much beyond lime flavor going for it, if it wasn’t salvaged by El Chingon’s fine assortment of salsas. It’s okay, but wouldn’t inspire return visits.
Maybe the fish is the problem, I told myself. The menu touts $6 cheeseburgers, served with crinkle cut fries, so maybe this can be my local food truck burger source. The burger turned out bigger than I expected, but about as good as I’d come to expect by this point, which is to say, fair considering it’s only $6, but not likely to steal much business from Jack in the Box.
Despite a cool name and a funny cartoon shrimp logo, Mariscos El Chingon just hasn’t been able to win me over. Looks like I’ll continue standing in line for Nine Seas.