Got a chance to try Real Taco in Downtown Crossing last week. I wanted to try my first fish tacos outside of california. First, let me say that it isn't bad. However, the many flaws left me somewhat dissatisfied with the experience. The fish, the main component, was fine. Chopped chunks of fried fish, could have been a bit crunchier, but no biggie. The tortillas, however were all wrong. They were steamed instead of warmed on the grill. Steaming corn tortillas damages its texture into something slippery and rubbery, which in my mind is completely avoidable. Along the texture lines, the cabbage was also wrong. Instead of thinly sliced shreds, the cabbage was chopped into little chunks. The chipotle cream was a decent addition, but I wonder if I could opt to just get a dash of plain cream for its clean flavor. I didn't ask. The condiments bar could be the best part of Real Taco. The pickled roasted serranos are a nice touch, as was the roasted poblano salsa (really just a puree). I didn't care much for the red salsas, however.
It makes me wonder why something so simple could be so complicated. After all, a fish taco is just fried fish, tortillas, cream, cabbage and salsa. If Real Taco made a few adjustments, they could make such a better product. So, the fish tacos are pretty decent, but doesn't get a whole-hearted endorsement here. But it will do to satisfy a craving.