At Georgetown’s El Sirenito, a “highly untidy and wholly joyous experience.”
Superlatives are beyond cheap on the Internet, but the Yelp reviewer who claims that El Sirenito has the best fish tacos in Seattle is onto something. The brand-new next-door sibling of beloved Georgetown Mexican spot Fonda La Catrina focuses on wild-caught fish and local produce, and the results are great. Add in an entirely pleasant setting, very good cocktails and remarkably low prices, and it’s more than well worth going out of your way. (No kids allowed.)
The menu: Everything we tried was extremely tasty, including crunchy fried-wonton-style pescadillas (don’t neglect their pickled red onions and green salsa; $4 for two); olive-oil-bathed sardines on Macrina bread (evocative of Spain, $4 each); and grilled octopus with tiny, tender potatoes in a smoky, subtly spicy, brick-red guajillo chili sauce (plenty for $10, the highest price on the menu).
What to write home about: Arguably Seattle’s best fish tacos ($3 each): A pliant house-made corn tortilla swiped with seasoned mayo cradles delicately breaded, crispy-fried rockfish, piled high with cabbage, pickled onion, pico de gallo and avocado crema. (The shrimp ones [$4] are even better.) It’s a spicy, creamy, crunchy, soft, highly untidy and wholly joyous experience. (Our server brought us more napkins at just the right time.)
5901 Airport Way S., Seattle
Hours: 4 p.m.-midnight (kitchen until 10) Tuesday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-2 a.m. (kitchen until 11) Friday-Saturday
Etc.: all major credit cards; no obstacles to access; 21+
I’ve thought about these tacos more since I ate them than any food I’ve had in months.
Most Read Life Stories
- What’s in store from the new Dietary Guidelines? For men, tighter restrictions on alcohol intake, to start
- A Spider Gap veteran, now 65, reflects on family and this iconic Cascades trek under COVID conditions
- ‘Am I supposed to say thank you?’ One Black Seattleite’s take on the Black Lives Matter protests
- Time is ripe for panzanella salad with mozzarella and fresh tomatoes | Cooking with Sadie
- What does Mount Rainier's future hold? The National Park Service wants your help deciding
The setting: The simple, low-slung, shotgun-style room with its whitewashed ceiling is stylish, comfortable and vaguely evocative of a hacienda vacation. The back patio has a fire pit for these cold, dark evenings and the promise of sunny fun when summertime comes.
If something had to replace the Magic Wheels biker clubhouse — and in Georgetown these days, it was probably inevitable — at least it was El Sirenito.
Summing up: Cactus salad, pescadillas, two sardine montaditos, two fish tacos, two shrimp tacos and pulpo a la parilla was more than enough for two and came to $39 before tax and tip.