The exterior might double as a Coca-Cola billboard and the plain yellow walls don’t exactly scream gastronomy, but La Cahua del Yeyo prepares some of Tijuana’s best Sonora-style seafood. “The turtle of Yeyo” is the nickname for owner Luis Mena, who runs the restaurant with wife Mena for the past 15 years.
We each filled a red plastic chair and commenced to feast on the ocean’s bounty, with a menu executed by Chef Rosario. We started with Tacos de Manta, tacos loaded with firm, albacore-like chunks of manta ray and a salsa-splashed mix of peas, thin-shaved red onions and crunchy raw cabbage strands.
Next up: Tacos de Marlin, tacos featuring shredded marlin meat. We encountered more cabbage and onions, but in this case, the pea proxy was a chunky pico de gallo that added acidity, but not quite enough to cut the marlin’s briny funkiness.
The biggest crowd pleaser was undoubtedly Tacos de Pulpo al Olivo (25 pesos each, less than $2), featuring corn tortillas loaded with supple quarter-sized cuts of octopus dressed with olive oil and capped with tangy thatch of olives, onions and cabbage.
The most challenging taco involved Aleta, gelatinous chunks of tuna fin that left some bloggers cold. The texture didn’t bother me, especially when paired with vegetables like carrots, peas and green beans.
The taste that challenged the octopus for meal supremacy turned out to be the cup of Chilipacholi de Jaiba, a spicy pepper-laced soup loaded with fresh-pulled crab crab meat.
La Cahua del Yeyo wasn’t on Mariscos Ruben‘s mind-blowing level, but the seafood far exceeded the expectations inspired by the casual open-air decor and overt Coke branding.