by Josh Jones
I’ve had tacos in Miami and Modesto, from Cancun to Connecticut. I love tacos — from 59-cent street tacos in San Miguel de Allende to my mom’s (very different) Mormon tacos. Tacos are like burgers – there are better ones, but usually you can’t go too wrong.
A while back there was a place downtown (which I won’t mention for certain reasons) that served “street tacos” for about $4. It was outrageous! The taco cart around the corner selling a much better tongue taco was a quarter of the price. They went under rather quickly, and I thought, quite deservedly. So I was a bit skeptical when Taqueria 27 opened and sounded familiar – “a modern Taqueria featuring unique interpretations of Latin street food.” But I was also intrigued.
The location at 1615 S. Foothill Dr. (in the same strip mall as the alcohol store), has been transformed with modern Latin esthetics, exposed concrete floors and rough-hewn wooden walls. The service was great with Jessy Jamze as lead server, swooping and a lot of swishing – he’s honest-to-god one of the best front-of-the-house guys in Salt Lake. He knows the menu in and out and has a light touch to his service.
The food is incredible. My last taco was my favorite with fresh halibut lightly grilled with cabbage, Tamarindo slaw and jalapeno tartar. It sounds overwhelming, but tucked between a daily, in-house tortilla – it’s perfect. One of the best fish tacos I’ve ever had.
My dining companion and I thought the GOD — Guac o’ the Day — with grilled pineapple was a bit off. I’d stick with the queso fundido, a rich balance of Oaxaca and Chihuahua cheeses melted together with mole verde.
Three other visits included the shrimp taco and a truly wonderful duck confit taco with roasted vegetables and leeks. The duck was perfectly cooked and, if left whole, could have been a main dish in a French restaurant. Taqueria also has mole platters and salads, but we never got past the tacos. Finally, the restaurant boasts almost every tequila available in Utah, almost 40 selections.
I normally don’t order dessert, but I had heard so much about the chocolate tres leches, I couldn’t pass it up. It certainly lived up to the rumors, with rich chocolate core and the condensed cream smothering the plate and more whipped cream on top, a fantastic finish.