Seafood-centric Mexican spot La Tostaderia has only been at Grand Central Market for a couple of years, but it has already achieved staple status. Go for the fish ceviche tostada–a tangy mix of white fish, tomato, onion, and cucumber, smothered in lime and topped with avocado. Be sure to make liberal use of the Tapatío they hand over with your order. It’s a tasty, fresh change from the heavy offerings found around most of the market.
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It’s easy to look at this tostada and feel confused by how much fresh produce is actually on it. But the radish-cucumber-bell pepper-onion situation on top brings a lot of peppery freshness that we typically don’t get in ceviche, and it works with the soft pieces of squid and shrimp. Besides the black pepper and fresh cilantro, this ceviche is flavored with a citrusy habanero salsa that’s painfully hot. Proceed with caution.
Fried Fish Tacos
While this is a pretty standard Baja-style fish taco with its beer-battered fish, slaw, and chipotle cream/aioli, we appreciate its subtle diversions. The avocado puree is super light yet creamy, the use of cod provides a meatier texture that flakes nicely, and the salsa roja brings some heat to the acidic and rich taco.
Remember that habanero salsa that we warned you about in the tostada mixta? Yes, it makes a cameo here too. This is a great and refreshing aguachile full of raw radish and cucumber that complement the raw shrimp’s soft texture.
These tacos can easily fall victim to being too much of a good thing, and in this case, we’re referring to melted Oaxacan cheese. The bubbly cheese with crispy edges tastes great on the first bite with the taco’s shrimp and octopus filling, but it quickly overpowers everything else that’s going on. The chipotle aioli and fresno chiles try and fail to cut the cheese’s richness, but we’d happily eat this if it went easier on the queso.