Friday, May 25, 2007

Wahoo's Fish Taco




It was time to hit the corporate taco again. I drive past Wahoo's fish taco from time to time and I had yet to try their fish tacos.Wahoo's is a west coast chain that originated in Hawaii. They don't claim to be authentic mexican, more of a Hawaiian-mex hybrid I think. There are a lot of stickers on the walls which gives the impression that Wahoo's is a local hang out for "bros"

I went to the West LA location on Wilshire blvd and ordered a fish taco, asada taco combo.

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I opened my box and everything looked good. The rice serving was soft and nicely packed ,the beans as well. The tacos were neatly rolled up individually in tin foil paper. Then it all went downhill.

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I opened the fish taco first. The fish was tender with some flavor but very forgettable. Overall just really bland, bland salsa as well. Just not the kind of fish taco that one would think could spawn hundreds of successful restaurants.

I unwrapped my carne asada taco and I saw this.

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WTF????

At first I was kind of mad. It's a natural reaction for anyone who gets lettuce on their taco. But then I started laughing uncontrollably. I laughed so hard it started to hurt.

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After I calmed down I brushed off the lettuce and noticed that some bits of steak had melted cheese on them. Another mini WTF moment but after the lettuce bombardment I wasn't surprised. Lettuce and cheese not withstanding, this taco was totally disgusting.

Wahoo's is really popular with people on Yelp so maybe it's me. Maybe one too many habaneros on my tongue damaged my taste buds. Nahhhh.

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11911 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025




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44 comments:

  1. I go to Wahoo's, but I never get the tacos--I either get the salad, or the bowl, which is actually served on a plate (fish, rice, and beans). Their Mr. Lee's hot sauce is outstanding.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's not you, it's Yelp. I don't trust the reviews on that site at all.

    Keep up the great blog. Any chance of you going to Santa Barbara for La Super Rica?

    ReplyDelete
  3. As for Yelp, the reviews on there are real people with opinions saying their piece, just like you. Some you'll agree with, some you won't, but that's no reflection on the site overall. I'm a Yelper and I happen to think Wahoo's blows...I'd rather eat at Rubios.

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  4. tate-buzz - leave Yelp out of this!

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  5. Richard McBeef5/25/07, 1:05 PM

    I find Yelp equal parts useful and full of shit.

    Taste buzz has essentially said that he doesn't find Yelp reviews helpful. Perhaps because the majority's will often serves as a poor critic?

    Yet some Yelp users feel the need to rush to the defense of poor, helpless Yelp. Why? Perhaps they feel personally insulted? They're motivated from positive reinforcement from other forum denizens?

    Do we identify so much with products and services that we feel personally offended if someone doesn't like them? Are we that insecure?

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  6. What an ugly looking taco, que asco!

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  7. It looks like someone accidentally put meat on that vegetarian taco.

    Can't stand Wahoo's. Especially their nasty rice which has tuna in it. For that alone I have banned them.

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  8. Why all the Yelp bashing? Yelpers are us - the People - Democracy in action.

    Are you saying only Professionally trained critics should tell us about tacos? Is there a Taco Theory 101 now in college?

    Man, I'm pretty damn sick of people who rely on "experts." I've heard more bullshit from "experts" in my life...

    Yelpers, are people with a variety of opinions. You discern which opinions sound good and which sound like crap - and, hey, you may not agree. We're all different, with different tastes and varying ideas of what's good. But do you think people should just keep these sort of opinions to themselves? Should people just shut up and let the "experts" tell us what's good.

    Personally, I stopped listening to paid critics a long time ago. Look, "Crash" and "Titanic" were given best picture Oscars by so-called experts. Do I need to say more?

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  9. I personally don't trust people who have a problem with Yelp...

    If you really want to share your expet opinion to a large forum of people who will not only offer you genuine thanks but also let you know if THEY disagree with YOU then open up a Yelp account.

    Otherwise, please don't talk about Yelp.

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  10. the only time I looked at Yelp is when another site mentioned it, totally unrelated to tacos, which I think is the reason why we are all here. I have not looked at the site since, but what I remember was people giving their opinion, just take it with a grain a salt. If you are offended by any comments, let it go. We are here for good tacos, unfortunately, it doesn't look like you can find it at Wahoo's.

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  11. I meant no disrespect to yelpers. I use yelp all the time and I am registered there.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Heh--Yelpers going crazy when someone expresses their opinion. Pot...kettle...

    Before I get attacked, I like Yelp.

    And the anonymous comment about the photos--Bandini uses his own photos (check the properties).

    Look at all of the bad juju that Wahoo's has created.

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  13. Snakes on a plane5/27/07, 1:13 AM

    I think you have your facts wrong on the origins of Wahoo's. From local lore, it started with an Orange County surfer who went down to Baja frequently on surfing trips and decided to try selling the stuff in the states as a business.

    I've heard that story often enough from random surfers in OC that it has a ring of truth in my ears.

    Take it for what you will and keep up the great work finding the ever-elusive best taco.

    ReplyDelete
  14. leafy lettuce on a taco, only at Taco Bell, and their lettuce isn't even green. Real tacos do not have lettuce, onions and cilantro, no lettuce.

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  15. When I saw the carne asada taco picture, I too burst out into uncontrollable laughter.

    Thanks for the great blog. It's a great reference when I'm wandering LA and has saved me many occasions from dining at some fast food joint.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wahoo's was founded in 1988 by three Asian-American brothers in a converted house in Costa Mesa on Placentia and Victoria.

    I can't decide if I like their veggie taco or La Estrella's more.

    And yes, Yelpers blow.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The Guilty Carnivore6/9/07, 12:39 AM

    That carne asada is an affront to all that is good and pure in the world. A crime against humanity, a blight upon our collective existence.

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  18. Hilarious.
    I work next to this joke of taco restaurant. It's bland central, all the time. Luckily there's a taco truck that parks @ Wilshire & San Vincente that saves my lunch hour, sometimes. If you get anything get the Wahoo's Torta (or as they sacrilegiously refer to as the "Wahoo's Sandwich"). It's about the only worthwhile thing there and still requires heavy amounts of Tapatio.

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  19. Definitely a taco place for Gabachos.

    And I say that as a gabacho.

    Having said that, I feel you should have given the Baja style fish tacos (with breaded fish) a chance, since that is the bread and butter of Wahoo's. Just as good as Rubio's.

    But yes, they are only a half-step above Taco Bell.

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  20. here's the real story on Wahoos. Started by the three brothers (part asian and part brazilian) who got the idea of a fish taco joint while surfing down in Ensenada. they took the idea from the fish taco joint in the harbor down there. The white rice & black beans is from their brazilian influence. The fish ain't too bad and that's what you should get there. would be nice if they had a deep fry option to the fish. go elsewhere for carne asada etc.

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  21. I know this review is months old, but I need to step up to the plate for the home team. I grew up in Orange County, and for a lot of us poor honkies with Eatern European heritage, Wahoo's was our first taste of Mexican food. Yes, it's as authentic as Pam Anderson's breasts, but Wahoo's is much tastier and better for your health. Think of it as The Gateway Taco, the taco that introduces you to the pleasures of grilled meat, salsa and corn tortillas.

    I've been to a lot of taquerias since, and have come to realize that Wahoo's is comfort food. Not adventurous, not daring, but solid, honest and delicious. Bash 'em all you want. I'll take my #2, fish and carnitas, black and white beans with a dash of Mr. Lee's over that puke from Rubio's or Baja Bud's any day of the week.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Originally I am from Orange County but now a transplant to Seattle. I often crave wahoo's and when I go back home (HB) I head straight to Main St. to Wahoo's and order 2 fish taco's, black beach w/ahi rice..awesome! Also, it did not originate from Hawaii they franchised to Hawaii. The 1st store was in Costa Mesa. Go Wahoo's...hopefully to Seattle :)...

    ReplyDelete
  23. Originally I am from Orange County but now a transplant to Seattle. I often crave wahoo's and when I go back home (HB) I head straight to Main St. to Wahoo's and order 2 fish taco's, black beach w/ahi rice..awesome! Also, it did not originate from Hawaii they franchised to Hawaii. The 1st store was in Costa Mesa. Go Wahoo's...hopefully to Seattle :)...

    ReplyDelete
  24. Originally I am from Orange County but now a transplant to Seattle. I often crave wahoo's and when I go back home (HB) I head straight to Main St. to Wahoo's and order 2 fish taco's, black beach w/ahi (does not have tuna in it)rice..awesome! Also, it did not originate from Hawaii they franchised to Hawaii. The 1st store was in Costa Mesa. Go Wahoo's...hopefully to Seattle soon:)...

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wahoos was started by 3 brothers and a Partner. The 3 brothers did not do this alone. It is funny how they never mention the third partner. I guess for selfish reasons.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wahoos website does not advertise nutritional and calorie value. Lets wonder why?

    Chipotle and Baja Fresh #1 for nutritional and calorie value.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Does it really matter if they don't mention the the silent partner?? My stepbrother went to University with the one of the brothers in Costa Mesa. I forget the name of the Chrisitian college. They initially started as a family run business but as it grew they needed more financial backing to grow into other markets. The investor or silent partner wanted to remain anonymous. Also, at the HB location they do post the nutritional values on the menu which is on the wall by the cash registers in about size 16 font. Cheers:)...

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  28. That carne asada taco looks like a leprechaun's or a martian's pubic region.

    ReplyDelete
  29. The "silent partner" is Steve K. He's not an investor, but an operator. And he's not silent either. Go to wahoos.com and you can see his mug, front and center.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Secondly, Wahoo's is suhhh guhhhdd. I can't believe some of you people even compare it to Rubios or Baja Fresh. What are you people, on dope? Rubios so wishes it was Wahoo's, trust me... And as for Baja, they are having trouble even keeping their doors open. Notice any changes in their restaurants lately??? New items, beer??? Those guys are sucking balls right now...
    Here's a little tasty tid-bit: When the students at USC were recently asked what restaurant they would like to have on campus, their top 2 choices were In N Out and Wahoo's... So guess what, this all but proves Wahoo's rules. And, it's coming to an SC campus near you soon.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I never thought of Wahoos as Mexican food. It's Hawaiian. Get the Kahlua pork burrito. It's a lot like the kahlua pig burritos on the Big Island. Tastes great. Like terriyaki marinaded sort of, and kind of pinappley. But definitely not Mexican.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Have you been 2 Tacos el Rey in Chino on Riverside Drive...

    ReplyDelete
  33. The Wahoo carnitas (pork) enchilada with red sauce, white beans & rice..(#1) is fabulous. I think their carnitas are the best..tender with tons of cheese..YUM..hope there's a Wahoo in Northern California as I am moving there and will miss it terribly!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I completely agree with you. Wahoo's tacos, especially the Fish and Carne Asada are disgusting...

    But have you tried their shrimp tacos? SO GOOD!

    I only go there only when I need a shrimp fix. :D

    ReplyDelete
  35. CrownTheLizard3/29/09, 8:37 AM

    wahoo's is poison!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Wahoo's is a joke. Blasphemy! BTW although there is a Wahoo's here in Honolulu they did not originate here. Think SoCal beach community. The "bros" love this place. Good reason for me to stay away. My Xicano palette knows better. Lettuce? Cheese? On Carne Asada. Are these PENDEJOS on crack??????

    ReplyDelete
  37. Yelp is so gay.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Yelp is so gay.

    ReplyDelete
  39. The Wahoo carnitas (pork) enchilada with red sauce, white beans & rice..(#1) is fabulous. I think their carnitas are the best..tender with tons of cheese..YUM..hope there's a Wahoo in Northern California as I am moving there and will miss it terribly!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I never thought of Wahoos as Mexican food. It's Hawaiian. Get the Kahlua pork burrito. It's a lot like the kahlua pig burritos on the Big Island. Tastes great. Like terriyaki marinaded sort of, and kind of pinappley. But definitely not Mexican.

    ReplyDelete
  41. That carne asada taco looks like a leprechaun's or a martian's pubic region.

    ReplyDelete
  42. CrownTheLizard5/18/11, 9:31 PM

    wahoo's is poison!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Originally I am from Orange County but now a transplant to Seattle. I often crave wahoo's and when I go back home (HB) I head straight to Main St. to Wahoo's and order 2 fish taco's, black beach w/ahi (does not have tuna in it)rice..awesome! Also, it did not originate from Hawaii they franchised to Hawaii. The 1st store was in Costa Mesa. Go Wahoo's...hopefully to Seattle soon:)...

    ReplyDelete
  44. I know this review is months old, but I need to step up to the plate for the home team. I grew up in Orange County, and for a lot of us poor honkies with Eatern European heritage, Wahoo's was our first taste of Mexican food. Yes, it's as authentic as Pam Anderson's breasts, but Wahoo's is much tastier and better for your health. Think of it as The Gateway Taco, the taco that introduces you to the pleasures of grilled meat, salsa and corn tortillas.

    I've been to a lot of taquerias since, and have come to realize that Wahoo's is comfort food. Not adventurous, not daring, but solid, honest and delicious. Bash 'em all you want. I'll take my #2, fish and carnitas, black and white beans with a dash of Mr. Lee's over that puke from Rubio's or Baja Bud's any day of the week.

    ReplyDelete

 
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