Grub/Spirits Restaurant Reviews — 21 February 2012
Wahoo’s West Coast Fish Tacos Open First NYC Outpost

333 Park Avenue South at 24th Street, Flatiron District
Getting There: N,R,W to 23rd Street; 6 to 23rd Street

While Monday was nationally recognized as President’s Day, it was also a day of note for a different reason- the official grand opening of Wahoo’s in the Flatiron District. Following a soft opening on Saturday, the first New York City outpost of the west coast chain began serving up their distinct blend of Mexican, Asian, and even Brazilian flavors on Monday, infused in the form of tacos, burritos, and bowls. With locations in California, Hawaii, Colorado, Nevada, and Texas, it is time to add Park Avenue South to the esteemed list, in the first of multiple rumored locations coming to Manhattan.

Stepping inside, Wahoo’s is geared to look like a respite from a warm weather SoCal surfer’s paradise just outside of its front doors. From its bleach blonde bartender to the surfboards and skating decals that line its walls, the entire haunt flaunts a California style appeal. Even the young and energetic employees are enthusiastic and warm when serving up your chips and guacamole or passing you that frothy beer.

The menu can be a little bit daunting at first, since it is extensive and because it is plastered along the side wall as you step up to order at a counter. But rest assured, the friendly staff will walk you through it based on your level of appetite. The ability to create different ordering combinations however is all you. The menu employs traditional quickly prepared Mexican staples like tacos and burritos to more involved entrees like enchiladas, salads, bowls, sandwiches, and “Baja Ladas,” or a wet cream cheese, chicken, and spinach filled roll served with rice and beans. Known for their fish tacos, Wahoo’s serves them up Cajun or grilled style, and other fillings range from shrimp and carne asada steak to braised pork and teriyaki style “Banzai Veggies.”

Spoiled as we’ve been by the Chipotles and Qdobas of the world, and even to a degree by our favorite late night spot- San Loco- the feel at Wahoo’s is a welcome sort of different. The pictures attached to this post will not do the delectable tortillas or the side of tasty pico de gallo justice. The fare actually tastes made to order and is lighter and fresher than the tacos we’re accustomed to. A small order of chips, salsa, and guacamole ($3.49) perfectly set the stage for a two taco combo platter ($7.99), mixing and matching the Cajun and grilled fish along with the grilled chicken over a bed of brown rice and black beans. The fresh tortillas were feathery and airy, doused with shredded cabbage, and cheese, and paced by the filling of seasoned meat, and a zesty and creamy green sauce for flavor. The portions were generous and as such, the value was peerless- a party of two, having a full dinner in New York City at under $25? Unheard of. We can only hold out hope that rumors of Wahoo’s expansion come to fruition so that our eating brethren both up and downtown can enjoy the same satisfaction that we did. Until then however, a trip into Gramercy for some $3 beers during happy hour and a plate of tasty fish tacos may just be worth you traveling for. Wahoo!

- Jane Van Arsdale

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(1) Reader Comment

  1. Sounds like an intriguing find, that Baja Ladas,” or a wet cream cheese, chicken, and spinach filled roll served with rice and beans, really sound delicious, got my mouth watering. yeh ahhhhhhhh