The owner of the La Fondita taco truck in the Lincoln neighborhood has a new restaurant.
Jaime Beltran opened La Perla del Mar in late December at 3850 Pacific Ave.
The restaurant is tightly focused on a central food theme — Mexican seafood dishes.
There’s shrimp, octopus, scallops, white fish, marlin or abalone tucked into tacos, piled onto tostadas and fried inside empanadas. Several dishes feature ceviche-style seafood. One page of the four-page menu focuses on fried fish. Prices range from $2.50-$3.50 for single tacos; $5.50-$15 for tostadas, $12-$13 for fish fillet dishes and $13.99 for seafood molcajete. The menu is written in Spanish, but for those who aren’t comfortable translating, English-speaking staff are able guides.
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Tip: bring your cash. There was no debit or credit service on my first-bite visit. It’s this newspaper’s policy to curtail criticism of food and service during a restaurant’s first month, which is why I’m focusing here on atmosphere and menu descriptions.
The front door faces busy Pacific Avenue. Diners should park at the rear of the building and enter streetside.
Enter to find electric-orange walls and long tables suitable for parties of four to eight. Beer banners hang from the ceiling, advertising a broad selection of eight Mexican beers ($3 a bottle).
A first-bite visit found a la carte seafood tacos ($2.50-$3.50). A marlin version was stuffed with smoky marlin, roasted peppers and queso ($3.50). Flaky shrimp and queso empanadas ($9.50) were served as a trio with rice and salad. Filete relleno ($13) was a thin white fish fillet filled with cheese and shrimp, and served with rice and salad.
The casual restaurant is seat yourself, but table service is offered. Bands play on the weekends.
Find Beltran’s other restaurant, the La Fondita taco truck, at 3737 S. G. St., Tacoma.
La Perla Del Mar
Contact: 3850 Pacific Ave., Tacoma; 253-273-1024.
Note: Cash only