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    Posted December 2, 2012 by
    Dana Point, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    100 places to eat like a local

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    Dana Point, near chi-chi Laguna Beach and fancy Newport Beach, is full of nice restaurants. But when I took my son up to Dana Point for his birthday this past August, we were feeling the need for Mexican food.


    So when we stopped off at a Dana Point Starbucks for an afternoon latte, I asked the trusty barista "where do all the locals go for some good Mexican food around here?" I got an immediate reply: "Taco Surf."


    We checked the Yelp.com reviews and sure enough, it was pointing the way to Taco Surf. This restaurant is one that you kind of have to really look for. Driving west on Pacific Coast Highway, it is located at a juncture in the road on the left at 34195 Pacific Coast Hwy.


    The best part about Taco Surf? Upon entering, there is sawdust on the floor! I thought that was so cool. Though the live music in the bar on a Sunday night was a little on the loud side, there were plenty of friendly faces hanging out and enjoying the scene.


    I suggested to my son we sit outside on the patio, as it was a warm, evening. The outdoor section of Taco Surf was wonderful. There were little white twinkly lights and the street noise from the busy road was hardly noticed.
    Service was prompt and efficient. The margarita's were fabulous and since my boy was driving, I made sure I tried a few to see if the locals were right about the drinks too.


    For dinner, my son had a wet burrito. I ordered the fish tacos and the waitress mentioned I would love the shrimp tacos, which were mouth-wateringly divine! The free colorful fresh tortilla chips and salsa that are placed on your table are excellent.


    I found it so refreshing that there is an unpretentious place like this to kick back and enjoy good food and music. My son and I noticed the crowd and they were indeed locals. A couple sitting at the bar appeared to be on a date. There was a large table with a family seated nearby and they did not even need menus! They ordered from memory! Now that's local!.


    If you want to know the best places to eat, ask a resident. That is how you know a good place to dine--where people who actually live there chose to spend their money. Highly recommend Taco Surf. The local's advice was so spot on, that I was warned about the Taco Surf parking lot--it is smallish, tight and fills up fast. We were lucky on that Sunday night to squeeze right in.....with (what looked like) all the other locals enjoying delicious Taco Surf.

    This iReport is part of an assignment that we created with Travel + Leisure:  100 places to eat like a local
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