Saturday, June 11, 2016

Yokosuka Tacos

Location: Tomaricho, Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture 238-0001, Japan

Rating: Very good
Meal: Dinner for 3
Price:  $45
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes:  3 orders of carne asada tacos (x3) with beans, rice, cilantro onions and salsa, and 1 GALLON of horchata (!)
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: n/a

So this is a bit different.  My wife has alerted me to the presence of several businesses run out of homes on Yokosuka Naval Base that provide various ethnic foods to those interested in paying for it.  We have decided to start reviewing these food options that are unique to the base itself.  Unfortunately this means that you must have base access to try any of them, or know someone who can go pick up the food for you (unless the business will deliver off base, we'll see how many do that).

The big white bottle is the horchata

The first of these is Yokosuka Tacos.  Please note that you cannot/should not attempt to just show up and pay for some food.  This is not a restaurant.  First go to the website and see what is available this week.  Place your order and pay via credit card or paypal, or pay in cash when you pick up.  Your order is not guaranteed if you don't pay ahead though.  Currently they have one meal menu item available each week, and the pick up day is Friday between 5 and 6pm.  You'll be emailed the information required for pickup if you place an order.  The ordering process is extremely easy.

I don't usually order carne asada as I go more for the tongue, pork or chicken options than beef.  But it was the only option, so we ordered it.  And as a family we all love horchata so I couldn't resist adding a gallon of it to the order.  Without that our order would have been just $30, which is not at all bad for 3 people eating dinner.

My wife made the pickup which went without a hitch and then brought the food back home.  It occurred to me later that if we wished we could have picked the food up and then walked to the nearby gazebo area looking out over the bay and towards Sarushima (an island nearby) and had a pleasant outside dinner.  But we'll try that another day.  Everything is packed to go and ready to eat (minus utensils) in styrofoam and with the salsa/onions on the side (much to my son's relief).  Just remember to bring utensils if you plan to eat outside.

Luckily we live fairly close to base, so the food was still warm when it arrived.  The carne asada was tasty, with a nice well marinated flavor.  It was a bit on the chewy side (another reason I don't usually get it), but I'm not sure if it's possible to really get it tender.  The tortillas appeared to be handmade, which is awesome if so, but even if not, they were corn tortillas that had been freshly heated up and tasted delicious.  What really made the meal though was the salsa.  It was more of a blended salsa (not pico de gallo style), but it had generous amounts of lime or lemon that gave it a nice kick.  It was also pretty salty which helped the overall taco flavor too.  The onions/cilantro mix was bit heavy on the onions and light on the cilantro.  I would definitely have wanted more greenery as I love my veg.  You won't find any cheese or sour cream as I believe this place is going for the more authentic style.  I'm not a huge mexican beans and rice connoisseur, so I can't really tell if those were super great, but as filler they worked fine.  And the horchata...oh the horchata was delicious!  Personally I could have done with just a little less sweetness, but others in my family would disagree with me on that one.  The best part being that it was a gallon of liquid that we have leftovers of for the next day (though we did manage to drink half of it with the meal).  I don't know if *that* was made by hand, but regardless, it was delicious and I'll be hard pressed not order it again next time.

Speaking of next time, we are definitely going to try this place out again.  I'm looking forward to trying out their other meats and dishes.  Their website includes the following future items: tamales, ceviche with tostadas, tacos de carnitas, carne asada fries, carne asada nachos.  I emailed in suggesting tacos de lengua too, since tongue is readily available from the Commissary.  I have successfully made several batches of delicious Mexican style lengua and frozen it for future use.  In fact, I saved my son's unwanted onions and salsa and used them this morning to make my own tacos de lengua!  Unfortunately I only have store bought burrito shells, but hey, you make due with what you have.

My wife and I debated a bit on the rating.  It's clearly between an Ok and a Very Good.  We wouldn't want to give the wrong impression with an Ok though, so I've bumped it to a Very Good, especially since we are definitely looking forward to trying more of their food, and they emailed us afterwards soliciting feedback on the food, indicating they are listening to customers and therefore have the means to improve.  They are, hands down, the best Mexican food available in Yokosuka at the moment.

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