Transplanted West Coasters were pretty pumped when Wahoo’s Fish Taco opened its doors at 333 Park Avenue South (212-466-3330) a few weeks ago, its first outpost east of the Mississippi River. The fast-casual Cal-Mex chain dates from 1988 and its branches in California, Hawaii, Colorado, and Texas soon developed a cult following for dishes like the Maui Bowl and the fish tacos, plus its low-key vibe that depicts skateboarding and surfing culture. With high hopes, we popped in to sample the goods, but left rather underwhelmed.
We opted for two tacos ($7.99), in which you can mix and match proteins, so we went for spicy fish and regular chicken. The portions are fairly large, and each taco comes topped with lettuce (or cabbage), pico de gallo, shredded cheese, and a zesty herb sauce. The grilled fish itself was surprisingly moist, but both tacos were studies in blandness.
We also got the three-minute fish burrito ($6.99), which stuffs fish, rice, cheese, and green sauce inside a flour tortilla, served with a side of salsa. We actually preferred this option to the tacos, and, again, the fish was well cooked. But was it a burrito we’d return for? Honestly, no. We could see coming back if maybe we worked across the street and wanted a speedy lunch, but our final verdict: If you want a damn fine burrito, go for one of Our Man Sietsema’s favorite five instead.