The Best Shrimp Tacos north of Baja...

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La Taquiza sign.jpg

By Deirdre Bourdet

Who knew they would turn up in a suburban shopping plaza just off Highway 29 in Napa? Or that they would be offered alongside fabulous mushroom quesadillas and scarily good grilled octopus burritos?

La Taquiza is a gem. Though the restaurant name suggests that the fish tacos are the can't be missed signature item, do not be misled. Shrimp is the way to go here. Perfectly grilled to order, juicy, succulent shrimp, to be specific, buried under fresh shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, salsa verde, and a luxurious dollop of crema. All you need to attain nirvana is to anoint them with your condiments of choice--pickled onions, more pico de gallo, and/or one of the housemade salsas, as you prefer--and lift the Mexican masterpiece to your lips.

Things can get ugly from that point forward, so some advance planning is advised: (1) stockpile a minimum of 4 napkins per taco, and keep them readily accessible as your meal begins to erupt onto your hands (and sometimes lap--beware the outdoor tables' peek-a-boo surfaces); (2) procure ample cold beverages to battle the flames in your mouth, particularly if you have chosen the fabulously smoky but coyly named "hot" salsa as a topping. Aguas frescas, beer, water, and sodas are all available for this purpose; (3) perhaps most importantly, DO NOT attempt to share a single shrimp taco. True love is getting each person their own, folks.

La Taquiza charming patio vista.jpgThere are few better or more convenient places in the valley for a quick bite on your way home from a hard day of wine tasting and total self-indulgence. The sunny little garden patio might be gilding the lily somewhat, but I tend to think the view of the Starbucks parking lot keeps it real.

La Taquiza Fish Tacos
2007 Redwood Rd # 104
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 224-2320

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