Holy Mole: fish tacos and Barolo?

Above: Holé Molé in Hermosa Beach doesn’t serve mole (traditional Mexican chili pepper and chocolate sauce) but the fish tacos are a dollar a piece on Tuesdays. Note the ubiquitous and obligatory Prius in the parking lot.

Fish tacos and Barolo? Where’s Dr. Vino when you need him? Hey, Dr. Tyler, give us some love and help us out with this impossible food pairing (I’m a huge fan of Dr. T’s sometimes hilarious and often unlikely food and wine pairings).

Seriously, I didn’t pair fish tacos and Barolo but I did discover a great little fish taco joint in Hermosa Beach on Tuesday after I helped out my friend Robin Stark with a cellar management job she was doing in Long Beach, CA.

The tacos at Holé Molé are prepared using the traditional small-sized corn tortillas like the ones you find at a taquería in Mexico.

After an afternoon of cataloging some rich dude’s cellar, we grabbed a taco at Holé Molé, a gimmicky but delicious taquería in Hermosa. I am a sucker for reduplicatives* and so we just had to stop there.

Fish tacos are said to have originated in Ensenada (Baja California, Mexico) and were popularized by the San Diego-based franchise Rubios. They generally consist of battered and fried pollock rolled in a corn tortilla and topped with a light lime- or lemon-infused mayonnaise sauce and lettuce and/or cabbage (north of the border, cole slaw is often used instead of lettuce). Many restaurants also serve fish tacos made with grilled mahi mahi and tuna these days and in fact, when I traveled in Baja California as a teenager, fish tacos were always served with grilled (as opposed to battered and fried) fish.

Above: A classic fish taco at El Indio, an old-school San Diego Mexican eatery. There are many great places to find excellent fish tacos throughout southern California but my heart always leads me to my beloved Bahia Don Bravo in Bird Rock (La Jolla) where I generally order the grilled Mahi Mahi fish tacos.

After we got our taco on, Robin and I headed to Brix (above), a new and rather soul-less high-end winebar and enocentric restaurant and wine store also in Hermosa Beach. Brix is located in a mall together with the obligatory health club and candle shop. I did enjoy an excellent glass of 2005 Ribolla Gialla from Teresa Raiz but was disheartened to hear the bartender tell me, “yeah, Ribolla Gialla… it’s kinda like Pinot Grigio.” The star of the evening was a 1997 Barolo by Anselma that we bought at the wine store and opened and decanted for $20 corkage. Anselma is a traditional producer who makes powerful but nuanced, elegant wines. Hey, as the great Lee Evans used to say, life is too short to drink bad wine…

In other news…

In the wake my post of the other day on Bad Food, but Good Music and Wine in the Studio, my friend and engineer Bryan Cook hooked me up with a tasty grilled mahi mahi tuna melt from Blairs while we were recording guitar overdubs yesterday back at Kingsize Sound Labs in Eagle Rock, CA. I stand corrected: there is much good take-out to be had in Eagle Rock! Rock on…

* Other examples of linguistic reduplication: hanky-panky, helter-skelter, and, one of my favs, pell-mell.

8 thoughts on “Holy Mole: fish tacos and Barolo?

  1. you tell ’em, terry! unfortunately that’s the kind of ignorance you find out there. i can understand servers not knowing so much about wine in your average restaurant, but when you have a WINE BAR, shouldn’t education be a priority?

    my favorite quote from a server happened recently. goes a little something like this, “we also have prosecco, an italian champagne…”

  2. Hey Dr. J –

    You faked me out w the mole thing — now that WOULD be purdy near impossible!

    Fish tacos, though, are a snap! As in a snappy wine — I liked the Stony Hill Gewurz with some I had at Taylor’s Refresher. Btw, I like grilled mahi mahi in fish tacos. Mmmm.


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