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Getting into the Halloween Spirit: Night of the Headless Shrimp Taco

Boo! Refried black beans, tortilla-crusted shrimp, orange sauce, and beady eyes.

Boo! Refried black beans, tortilla-crusted shrimp, and beady eyes.

Tacolicious’s Night of the Headless Shrimp Taco

With a smear of black refried beans and a drizzle of our Legendary Orange Sauce, these tacos are spirited (Halloween colors, but conveniently Giants colors too) and perfectly good made with your typical pre-headed shrimp. But if you want to freak a few squeamish friends out, buy head-on shrimp and fry up a few of the heads to use as garnish. Let their beady eyes do the talking. If this is too scary to make at home, come into any of our locations starting next Thursday, October 30th, and it’ll be on the menu for the week.

Serves about 4

1 pound 26–30-count peeled and deveined shrimp
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 whole egg, whisked
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups pulverized corn tortilla chips, preferably unsalted
1 cup canola oil
12 corn tortillas
1 cup refried black beans
½ cup Legendary Orange Sauce (see below)
½ cup Mexican crema or sour cream
16-20 sprigs of cilantro, optional

In a large bowl, mix the shrimp with the cornstarch, egg, salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder and cayenne pepper.

Add the pulverized corn chips to the bowl and toss well with the shrimp until they’re evenly coated. Heat the canola in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, working in 2 to 3 small batches, cook the shrimp in the oil for 30-45 seconds per side, until they are firm and golden brown. Transfer onto a paper towel lined plate to drain excess oil. Read more »

T-lish + Chino = Holidays Solved



Book now and rest easy. Here are five equations to get the party started.


baja fish taco + pasión cocktail + twinkle lights
soundtrack inspiration: Wave sounds

OG Mexican Fiesta
taquiza (taco bar) + margaritas + candy cane-filled piñata
soundtrack inspiration: El Taxi

Intellectual Imbibe-a-Thon 
tequila tasting + mini tuna tostadas + tacolicious cookbook (party favor)
soundtrack inspiration: Drunk In Love


Taiwanese Tinseltown 
XLBs + boba slushies + lucky cats everywhere
soundtrack inspiration: MC Hot Dog

Fingers Not Forks 
japan-o-mission wings + shanghai buck + customized fortune cookies
soundtrack inspiration: Little Secrets

Contact our catering team to customize an epic night—corporate or personal. Reserve one of our fantastic private dining rooms, buy out the entire restaurant, or let us bring the party to you. Email us to learn more:

Who Says Women Aren’t Cooking in SF?

Nicole (left) and Alica (right) under the El Pato painting at Valencia Street.

Nicole (left) and Alica (right) under the El Pato painting at Valencia Street.

Everyone loves a fresh-faced wunderkind, especially one that has a way with a knife. Forbes does a 30 Under 30 chef feature, as does Eater.

To these lists, I say pffft! How about something seriously impressive—something like “Two Kitchen Bad Asses Under 24.” And let’s make them female. (Maybe we’ll call it “Goddesses of Food.” Take that Time magazine.)

For this, Joe and I would like to nominate our company’s own chefs: Alica Huerta, 23, our sous chef at Tacolicious in the Mission, and Nicole Marin, 22, our chef at Tacolicious North Beach. These dynamos run our kitchens with a kind of adult-like grace that is remarkable. They also happen to have a few things in common: They attended the CCA and they both have deep roots in Mexico.

In an attempt to steal some of their youth, I made them meet up with me for a little Q&A.

Where were you raised? Any chefs in the house?
Alica: Central California, 45 minutes outside of Fresno in a town called Visalia. My parents are both Mexican American. My mom has been a day care provider for 25 years. She’s an alien—I don’t know how she does it. And my dad is in telecommunications.
Nicole: I was born and raised in Mexicali. My dad is a plastic surgeon and my mom is a part-time lawyer.

Memorable food from growing up?
Nicole: I have a big Mexican family. Every Wednesday we had lunch at 3 pm at my grandma’s house. Her house isn’t big and we were like 20 people. She makes an awesome soup with chunks of potatoes, and tomatoes, pasilla peppers, and onions. She puts a thick Mexican queso fresco on it that melts. It’s so simple, but it’s just so good!
Alica: My mom can throw down. Her posole is it. She grew up eating it every day as a kid. It has the actual foot of the pig in it, and you get that piece in your bowl and you gotta eat it.

[Nicole points at our Paul Madonna painting of cans El Pato.]
Every time I see that, I think about chilaquiles. You can’t get El Pato chilies in Mexico so we’d go and sneak them in from the Walmart in the bordering town in Calexico. My mom always used them and it just became a part of what I think of when it comes to chilaquiles. Read more »

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