According to the latest issue of Lucky Peach, the Taco Bell overlooking the wide sandy beach and Pacific Ocean in Pacifica, CA, ranks number one of all Taco Bells based on its splendid location. But let’s face it, who wants to eat at a Taco Bell, even one with a great view?
If you do fancy a tasty bit of carne asada, slow cooked pork, or fresh fish, wrapped in a crispy tortilla, say after a surf session or a trip to the beach, then make your way to a little trailer in the parking lot at Hanalei Bay in Kauai. The eponymous Pat’s Taqueria, is open most days from noon ’til 3pm, unless it’s off season and the surf’s really good. This joint on wheels has been around since before food trucks were trendy and the turquoise view of Hanalei Bay, against a backdrop of emerald mountains and waterfalls, beats even Pacifica.
We have been visiting this little gem for a number of years and it never disappoints. That’s probably because when it’s open, Pat himself is working hard in this hot little kitchen on wheels so the quality stays consistently good, taco after taco, year after year. (Pat was a chef at number of great restaurants before opening his own business and you can tell.)
The prices are appealing at a few bucks a taco, but you’ll probably want to order two, if not three, tacos if you’re hungry. They are decidedly moreish and I highly recommend the beef and the pork.
And yes, Kauai may be a long way to go for a taco, but it’s definitely worth it.