Boys Being Boys On A Coastal Joyride And – Finally – REAL Tacos
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Lifestyle Blogger
“Is this not great!?,” James Hills exclaimed as he pressed the accelerator on the banana-colored Lexus LC 500. “Here we are driving along the coast in a bright yellow sports car on a sunny day. It’s just… so (pause)… Californian!”
And with that, James turned south onto the inland coastal road and we slowly made our way back home from Oceanside to San Diego.
James had been given the car to play around with – er, test – by Lexus for his website, Man Tripping. Kindly, he invited PubClub.com to go along with him for the day. We picked up this sweet ride around Carlsbad and headed north on I-5 where James punched it on occasion to test its acceleration. A couple of times, my head snapped back and I let out a “whoa!”
Needing some scenic photos of the car, James exited at San Onofre State Beach. Years earlier, I had camped out here for a couple of days to go surfing at this tough-to-surf spot next to the two domes of the now idle nuclear power plant. This time, I kept myself on land and dry.
We then decided to take the coastal route south back to San Diego, starting in Oceanside. I had always thought of Oceanside, just down from the massive Camp Pendleton Marine training base, as a grungy military town. All I had seen of it was along the highway that goes through the main business part of it.
But James, out of curiosity more than knowledge, turned on a road that headed to the beach. And guess what – we found a small one-lane, one-way street that went right along the sand. Called The Strand, it was not unlike the running and bike paths common in most Southern California beach cities except this one allowed vehicles.
And it was beautiful. The beach was gorgeous and the scenery was accented by lots of palm trees. “What, this is Oceanside!?,” I kept saying to myself.
When we ran out of that road and had to exit, that is when James made his remark that turned out to be the signature statement about the day. We were both so pumped up by the overall experience that we truly did feel like two high schoolers that had “borrowed” the car from one of our parents’ garages for an afternoon joyride.
By now, these mischievous boys needed to eat. So as we slowly made our way down the beautiful coastline and and through the small beach towns along the way, we pulled up to a roadside taco shop in Leucadia. Both of us shun chains; we wanted something local and with character.
We found it at a place called Kotija Taco Shop. I got two beef tacos, rice and beans. The beef was not ground beef but chopped up meat just the way they do it in Mexico, liberally placed in crispy shells. That was covered with ample portions of lettuce, tomatoes and shredded cheese.
This is Mexican the way I know it from my many days living in Los Angeles (Kotija’s sign states it serves “Ensenada style” food). James looked a little dumbfounded because he is used to San Diego -style Mexican food which does not include those extras on its tacos or even in burritos.
It drives me nuts, and explains why I was so giddy to get these tacos.
The awesome tacos topped off a perfect day, trippin’ around with Man Tripping and we returned to San Diego satisfied both in our adventure and our local food choice.