Any taco lover worth their salt knows that completing the ritual of enjoying a plate of tacos involves three things: sprinkling them with onions and cilantro, adding a squeeze of lime, and then some flavorful salsa right before you dig in. But topping a fish taco with edible gold? Chef Brian Redzikowski did that for “The Taco” at Camino Riviera, the new Tulum-inspired restaurant in Little Italy.
Redzikowski, executive chef of Camino Riviera and all of SDCM group’s restaurants (including Kettner Exchange and Waverly), traveled throughout Tulum and the greater Yucatán in Mexico to learn about the region’s cuisine and find inspiration for the menu. When it came time to design dinner, he wasn’t interested in tacos at first (San Diego has endless options, after all). But Matt Spencer, SDCM’s owner, really wanted to serve one.
“I decided if I was going to do it, it really needed to be high end and have an exciting presentation,” Redzikowski says. So he went all-out.
This V.I.T. (very important taco) is a fillet of sea bass dipped in a tempura batter mixed with squid ink, which adds a bit of brine and turns the fish midnight black when fried. The fillet is placed on two tortillas sourced from Gabriel’s Tortilleria in Barrio Logan, then topped with frisée and edible gold leaf, making it shine. It comes with two sauces—a chipotle aioli and bitter-orange vinaigrette. At $16, it’s built to share between two people as an appetizer before you delve into dishes like Sonoma lamb shoulder barbacoa and pork chop anticucho, but you can also enjoy it on your own.
Yes, the gold is made for consumption and is safe to eat. Whether it’s a fad or fantastic, you be the judge, but numbers don’t lie: Redzikowski says it’s the best-selling item on the menu since they opened last winter—guess he has the Midas touch.
2400 India Street, Little Italy