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Restaurants & Bars 3

Otaez in Fruitvale

chowfish | Mar 1, 2004 11:26 PM

Decided I deserved a treat after dropping off my sister-in-law at the Oakland airport. Had researched beforehand (thank you ChowNews!) to find a new (to us) Chowhound recommended Fruitvale destination. Rainy so decided to skip the trucks—ate @ Otaez (3872 International Blvd). Spacious booths (although 2 top looked cramped), counter service and full table service. More casual taqueria in adjoining room. The menu offered more than 100 choices. Will definitely have to go back and work my way through it. Prices very inexpensive—we paid $22 for a huge plates of carnitas--enough for me and leftovers for ChowChild (large chunks of juicy pork, rice, beans, guacamole) and carne asada tapatia (very tasty steak w/ whole beans, nopales, grilled green onions), corn tortillas (fresh and warm—obviously handmade), strawberry aguas frescas (the best we have ever had anywhere-tasted like 100% strawberries), 1 pastor and 1 chicharron taco. The tacos were the only disappointing part of the meal. The pastor was dull, not spicy at all. The chicharron tasted old, tough, overcooked. (Interesting bec they looked great on the more casual side of the restaurant. Did they serve the gringa day old tacos?).
Most of the other customers were men—90% were eating huge bowls of soup or seafood cocktails. On the way out saw a good looking whole fried fish. The menu lists several fried fish entrees. I’d definitely try it next time.
Mucho gracias to Ruth, Mr. and Mrs. Celery and others for their recommendations.

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