January 24, 2014 | 7:30am
You will never stop hearing about the fantastic smoked marlin dishes here from Tijuana Si! staffers, like the famous taquitos de marlin at Mariscos Ruben, or the stewed tacos de marlin at Mariscos El Mazateño. Smoked marlin is a special product found on the Baja Peninsula, Sinaloa, Nayarit, the beaches of Sonora, and other Pacific coast states in Mexico. It is found in LA, the OC, and San Diego, but isn't as fresh or very inspired north of the border.
Tacos y Mariscos Ensenada in Playas de Tijuana is modeled after Mariscos Walter, with a menu that's virtually identical to the classic Tijuana seafood taco stand famous for it's taco de jamon del mar, or tuna of the sea--it's whole chunks of braised, smoked marlin on a tortilla. Tacos y Mariscos Ensenada also has their jamon del mar, but where they show a bit of originality is with their flautas de marlin, a dish that's worth the drive across the border all by itself.
Sure you'll find a whole menu of seafood tacos with Tijuana classics like pulpo al olivo (octopus with olives), camaron enchilado (spicy shrimp), cahuamanta (manta ray), and Mariscos Walter's signature taco, the jamon del mar--smoked marlin is truly the ham of the sea.
Yes, you'll want to order those tacos, but save room for the taqueria's best dish. The flautas de marlin come dressed in standard Mexican antojitos (traditional snacks) toppings: salsa, cream, bits of dry cheese, and shredded lettuce to add a fresh contrast to rolled flour tortillas wrapped around savory, smoked marlin that are fried until they're crunchy, seafood cigars.
The rather simple dish is given a burst of smoke and meatiness from the marlin add an exiting dimension to the conventional antojito plate. It's an instant classic for you Baja fanatics to add to your list, and another temptation to those of you that are still on the fence--no pun intended.
Tacos y Mariscos Ensenada is located on the southwest corner of Paseo Ensenada and Parque Mexico Sur in Playas de Tijuana.