Chef Sergio Peñuelas, who gained a devoted following at Coni'Seafood and, before that, at Mariscos Chente, recently moved to Long Beach's Cheko El Rey del Sarandeado. Peñuelas is justly famous for his pescado zarandeado, the Sinaloan specialty of whole grilled snook. But equally worth driving for are his marlin tacos, beautifully salty, cheesy and almost austere, topped with one perfect slice of avocado. Peñuelas' marlin tacos here seem a little more substantial than I remember from Coni'Seafood, the marlin meatier and the cheese less overwhelming. I've heard these tacos compared to a tuna melt, and while it's true that the two preparations share some spiritual DNA, to me the current version is much more elemental — it has more brawn and less smoosh. If you're a marlin taco newbie, these will make you rethink the whole concept of a fish taco, in the best possible way.
Pescado zarandeado; Credit: Anne Fishbein