Friday, May 21, 2010

Los Cangrejos, Tijuana,BC: Make a Pit Stop at the Urban Crab Taco King

While Sonoran seafood restaurants in Tijuana aren't as common as the Sinaloan or Nayaritan varieties, I've learned to make it a required stop whenever I do come across one. Sonoran seafood is only underrated by those who haven't tried it.

Where the shrimp is king in the states of Sinaloa and Nayarit, crab reigns supreme in Sonora.

Los Cangrejos has been open for a little over a year, owned by Sonoran born Marlon Moreno. His family has a Baja lobster restaurant in the well frequented tourist destination, Puerto Nuevo, but as he began to pitch me a visit, I told him thanks but no thanks, and I was just fine right where I am. The crab is local catch from Puerto Nuevo.

The restaurant carries five different dungeness crab tacos, plus octopus with olives, marlin, shrimp, and fish tacos. All seafood tacos are cooked.

The restaurant is a typical urban playesque set up, a large kitchen and parking lot with a small tented area for dining.

This is a great place to pass your lunch hour. It gets a nice breeze which adds to the beachy feel. A good way to begin is by ordering a soul warming shrimp consommé.

A favorite moment of mine at a taqueria is when the condiments arrive. I start plotting my salsa matching, do I go with the squeeze bottle, the house salsas, or the Huichol? Lately, I'm finding that good things come in squeeze bottles. The crema and a light chipotle sauce come in the bottles, which allow you to neatly finish your taco.

The aguachile is very good here and comes in a shallow clay pot. The shrimp is sweet, and the heat is mild. I added some blackened chile de arbol salsa. Mini tostadas come with your aguachile accessories, they are crunchy and have a fine toastiness.

Los Cangrejos serves up such Tijuana favorites as the camaron enchilado(chilied shrimp) and the smoked marlin taco. These are both solid, as this taqueria does a fine job on all its dishes.

But you are here for the crab tacos. The especial is sauteed crab with vegetables, a beautiful balance of butter and sweetness. It's the taco to order if you really want to taste this fresh and flawless dungeness crab in its purest form.

The chipotle crab taco is pure extacy, just the right amount of chipotle to tinge the color, scent, and impart subtle flavors.

Whoever had the big idea of stuffing the shrimp with crab, and wrapping it in bacon deserves a big hug. The snap of the greasy,juicy pork hit your palate first, but the lighter flavor of toothsome seafood.

There aren't many restaurants with crab tacos in Tijuana, which makes Los Cangrejos all the more interesting.

Tijuana's creative taquerias and stands never cease to amaze in their variety and quality. Los Cangrejos is a place that you could easily mistake for a million other mariscos stands serving up the same menu, with matter-of-fact execution. And, they could just live off the virtue of their lone wolf status....but this is Tijuana.

Los Cangrejos
Bl. Diaz Ordaz at Zapopan.
Tijuana, BC
mornings and afternoons.


Val said...

That is some seriously good looking food. Do you think the risk of death visiting Tijuana lately is overblown? I'm not sure if the food is worth my life, but it might be worth minor injury...

streetgourmetla said...

Hey Val, it's grossly overblown. We are civilians and it's the same risk as any other big city. LA feels safe to us because we know most of its risks,to me, A frequent visitor to Tijuana I find all the fear laughable, and so do the folks that go there with me.

There are more sidewalk hazards in Tijuana than anything. Potholes!

chico said...

just to correct, it isn't sonoran food nor the owner was born in sonora. It's completly baja.