la sirena’s delicious ceviche
Originally uploaded by Liz Henry.
So, my mommyblogging homie Jo Spanglemonkey and I went in search of fish tacos down in Redwood City’s “other downtown” on Middlefield. We were headed for 7 Mares, but found it closed on Tuesdays, so we figured that La Sirena, “The Mermaid” restaurant, must have fish. Behold the glory of their lobby bench mermaid sculpture! Doesn’t she just scream “Eat me”?
The waitress seems mildly unnerved by our uncouth gabacha ways. We were the only patrons for a while and spent some time gawking around, hooting at the big TV’s World Cuppitude, with Spain vs. France. We screeched “take it off” as some soccer player named Viera unpeeled a sweaty shirt from his muscley torso. Then we realized other people had come into the restaurant, so we behaved a bit better and drank our coke (me) and tamarindo soda (Jo).
A generous basket of fresh chips and two kinds of salsa, one hot and one very mild.
The place had clearly been an auto body shop long ago. A giant garage door structure overhead. Miller ads in those hanging cutout paper things, an enormous dead octopus plastered to the wall (or was it fake? I thought it real and mummified.) A cheerful ocean mural. A pool table. A for Atmosphere, really a comfortable beautiful place!
There were no fish tacos, but I had incredibly delicious ceviche, which if you don’t know, is raw fish marinated till it “cooks” in lime and onion and other deliciousness. My ceviche de pescado was served on a bed of crunchy fresh iceberg lettuce – not the sad “garnish” but something I really wanted to eat. Slices of orange, tomato, and avocado, wedges of lime (mercifully abundant), and then a big pile of marinated citrusy fish, chopped marinated onion, and more avocado on top with a dab of hot sauce. And some crunchy corn things that were not quite tortillas or chips but were very thick. Nice, but the chips were better. Main thing is, the fish rocked. I devoured it.
Damn, it was good.
Jo and I talked about writing, our kids, summer camps, her mental health, and my job possibilities, giggling and then spacing out suddenly in mutual admiration of the soccer players’ thighs. They are not too pumped-up-with-steroids-looking. “They just run. All the time. ALL the time,” Jo said, pensively. “Do you think that they ever ‘pants’ each other on national TV?” “We can only hope. Look! They’re hugging! Full body hug!”
Workmen came in on their lunch breaks … a romantic couple lurked behind the pool table, gazing into each others’ eyes… some more dudes came in to comment on the soccer. I wonder if it’s more hopping of a place at dinner?
Oh, and it’s a big and roomy restaurant where it would be okay to bring kids.
Jo was tempted by breaded fish (pescado empanizado) but went for “la sirena” enchiladas which turned out to be a huge plate of food with roasted chicken filet things, very tasty, enchiladas, and I don’t know what all else. Beans with the proper kind of crumbly fresh mexican cheese, not melted fake cheese.
Though I can’t wait to try more fish taco places, I’m not sorry we ended up here and I’ll definitely be back.
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