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Of Seaside Tacos And Opting Out

The best view from a hole-in-the-wall taco shop, at Bull Taco in Cardiff-by-the-Sea.
Jacob Pomrenke
The best view from a hole-in-the-wall taco shop, at Bull Taco in Cardiff-by-the-Sea.

Hole-in-the-wall taco shops are a staple of the Southwest (and Mexico).

One of my favorite is Bull Taco in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif. Legend has it a five-star restaurant owner in Pasadena got tired of the rat race and opted out. His wife's family operated the campground concession stand at the San Elijo State Beach. He wandered into the kitchen, started cooking some street tacos, and Bull Taco was born in 2009.

The results are fantastic. Mouthwatering street tacos made with ingredients like lobster and shrimp curry. Burritos bursting with chorizo. And the view is just as scrumptious: Diners eat on campground picnic tables overlooking the ocean.

Bull Taco has expanded in the three years since I've known about it. A real storefront location in Oceanside will soon be followed by one in San Clemente. They also signed with the San Diego Padres to have a pair of locations at the baseball stadium.

But the campground spot will always be my favorite.

And it's made me wonder -- who else has found a better niche by "downsizing" or "opting out"?