When H1 and I decided to go to California, I put in a special request. Just one, because it was his birthday trip. I knew he would like this one, though. I really wanted to eat tacos in Santa Monica.
I have no idea where I got this desire from. A movie? A book? A blog? I just knew that I had heard good things about tacos in Southern California, and Santa Monica is really the ideal place to eat delicious, fresh, zesty Mexican food*.
H1, as I'd suspected he might be, was totally on board, so early one afternoon we drove down to the waterfront and pitched up at Blue Plate Taco. The restaurant was chosen primarily for its casual name and waterfront location. We just trusted it would be good. Too much planning or thought shouldn't go into tacos - from the eating side, that is. I'm all for restaurants putting a bit of planning and thought into their creation.
Blue Plate Taco was good. Really, really good. I had chicken tacos, and H1 went for shrimp ones. Every ingredient was almost dancing with how fresh it was, and every bite was intensely flavourful. The tacos had so much inside them that I briefly considered making use of my knife and fork, but a quick glance around the restaurant showed that this was absolutely not the done thing. Not wanting to be rude, I committed in full - and my meal was all the better for it.
I want those tacos again. I'm not at all happy that they're in my past. I would try making them here, but I know that part of what made them so good were the ingredients I would never be able to get here. The ocean, the bright Californian sun, the sand, and the soft sea breeze were all integral parts of the meal. For now, we have pretty good** Mexican food in NYC to tide me over, and I'm prepared to wait until I'm next in Santa Monica to eat tacos again.
*Mexico may be more ideal, but I couldn't vouch for that.
**She said grumpily.