Living in California and avoiding tacos is like avoiding red m&ms – sure, you can do it, but occasionally you accidentally end up eating one anyway. This is how foodienot tried his first taco, and guess what – he’s all about tacos now!
Tacolicious is a small NorCal chain focusing on tacos, small bites, and drinks. The interior is very playful and welcoming: orange-colored chairs, modern candles, light fixtures, and murals. Most of locations have outside seating, which is what attracted foodienot to try Tacolicious on a warm late-summer evening.
As if it wasn’t obvious, I warned foodienot that this place serves mostly tacos, but he refused to believe a restaurant could serve only tacos. Sure enough, tacos dominate the menu, but with a bit of convincing from me and the support of a charismatic waiter, we negotiated a set of five tacos to share. Of course, we ordered a salad, chips and guacamole as backup, you always need a backup plan if you live with a foodienot, right?
The key to a successful introduction to tacos was to start off easy and keep things traditional…! Skirt steak carne asada and chicken chili verde did the trick for a foodienot, and I chose baja-style pacific cod, butternut squash and poblano tacos.
To relax prior to taco-filled endangering experience, foodienot indulged in a glass of wine, and I ended up choosing the Margarita de la casa. Choosing a cocktail at Tacolicious is a foodie adventure of its own – their cocktail list is very creative and full of delightful combination, such as Chinaco blanco, pineapple, coconut water and citrus to make their Mucho Gusto, and Don Julio Blanco, kiwi, lime, ancho reyes verde and agave to make Día Verde. That day I just wanted a Margarita, but I can’t wait to come back during a happy hour and explore other options.
The cocktail was strong, the wine was good… the chips were nice and crunchy, and guacamole was very fresh and nicely spiced. I dined here before and I remember having a delicious meal, but still the suspense around tacos was growing: I love when foodienot tries new food, but what good is all that effort if the food gets blacklisted?
So what makes a great taco anyway? The meat has to be properly spiced, marinated and cooked, toppings have to be proportional to the taco and should pair well, and tortillas have to be the right size so you can get a little bit in each bite, but not too much… and so that your taco doesn’t ‘spill’ from it’s tortilla.
Tacolicious was a success and complete delight! Foodienot loved the carne asada taco and chicken chili verde was pretty good as well. As far as my tacos, I loved the creative twist of using butternut squash in the taco. I previously ordered meat tacos at Tacolicous, but this veggie taco had me converted, it could be their cilantro pepita salsa, or a combination of two.
Foodienot has been back to tacolicious without me since (3 times!) and tacos are now added to the list of acceptable foods. Can you imagine all the dining opportunities that opens up? Breakfast tacos, whole-in-the-wall Mexican taco places, taquerias… we no longer need to avoid red m&m’s, what a relief!