What Happened to Marisco’s Taco Truck?

by on September 11, 2010 · 88 comments

in Economy, Ocean Beach, Popular, San Diego

Mariscos German truckBy Terrie Leigh Relf / Special to the OB Rag

Marisco’s German Taco Truck was a neighborhood presence from mid-March to mid-August of this year. Parked next to the Pirate Cove café in the Apple Tree Market’s parking lot on Cable and Santa Monica, they offered a delicious variety of Mexican-style seafood. Their $1.00 fish tacos and samples of spicy seafood soup were quite enticing, and nearly every time I passed by, there was a line of dedicated patrons.

Sometime in July, Miriam of Marisco’s told me they were leaving as someone had complained they were interfering with other businesses. Several weeks later, they were still there, so I assumed the complaint had been resolved. Then, in mid-August, they were gone. . .

While waiting to speak with German Marisco, I visited Subway on Cable. A staff member said that despite what locals believed, they weren’t the ones to blame. My second stop was the Pirate Cove café, where the barista said while she could see both sides of the issue, the cart was popular, they were nice people, and had good food.

While I didn’t speak with the Apple Tree Market’s owners, I did contact the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association, and spoke with Executive Director, Denny Knox.Even though this was not their jurisdiction, as Marisco’s was parked on private property, she provided me with extensive information.

Apparently, the Apple Tree’s owners believed Marisco’s had the proper permits, and that it was legal for them to be there. Furthermore, due to budget cuts, Knox said that the City only follows up on complaints rather than canvassing the area to determine code violations. Since someone did complain, a letter of finding was issued, which ordered Marisco’s to “cease and desist”.

I then contacted the City where I was referred to the County Department of Environmental Health. The Assistant Director at that office, Liz Pozzebon, stated her department ensures mobile food trucks meet food safety and sanitation standards, which include having restroom access for patrons who will be at the site for longer than an hour. Since there weren’t any complaints on record, she directed me back to the City’s Neighborhood Code Compliance Division. Unfortunately, no one there was available to take my call.

Mariscos' tacosWhen I spoke with German Marisco and Miriam, I learned that Nico’s – the small Mexican restaurant on Newport right around the corner from the Subway – lodged the complaint. Miriam said they could understand Nico’s position, as they also serve seafood. There had been a rumor that Subway’s owner complained to their landlord (who owns that entire building) that they weren’t making enough money to pay their rent, and pointed to Marisco’s as the reason. Since said landlord happened to be an attorney, he took it upon himself to file suit against the Apple Tree as well as Marisco’s.

Marisco’s is hoping to return. Currently, the Apple Tree’s owners are working with the City to facilitate this process. The truck that was located in OB is now in the Gala Foods parking lot, on Grape St. in South Park, Monday through Sunday, from 9:00AM to 7:00PM.

{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Seth September 11, 2010 at 11:30 am

Yeah, that’s basically it. The taco truck was great and I think most everyone would welcome them back if they are being held to the same standards and regulations that everyone else is. Not like it was intentional, but the end result was that they were an illegal business in terms of the zoning, and did not have to pay the same BID fees, etc as other businesses. Make no mistake about it, they had an unfair business advantage over others that could very well have resulted in some empty storefronts in and around Newport.

However, I said it in another post, and I will say it again… perhaps it is time to ask if OB is becoming oversaturated with food retailers. Easy to blame the taco truck for why your business is doing bad in a bad economy, but there are probably a dozen more new food retailers in OB over the last year or so, and some of them sell lunches too. Pizza Port is doing a pretty brisk business, and perhaps worth mentioning here that they did not even have to come before OB’s community planning board.

Food for thought?

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avatar Terrie Leigh Relf September 11, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Thank you for reading the piece, Seth. Yes, it is food for thought. . .
While I tend to believe that more food retailers equal more choices, there is, and perhaps should be, a limit. Case in point, the Farmer’s Market seems heavy on the food stands, and I would definitely like to see more produce and other locally-prepared products.
As to the Pizza Port, it’s on my list. On a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the best, what do you have to say about their pizza–and of course, their beer?

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avatar dave rice September 12, 2010 at 9:42 am

Good point on the ‘Farmer’s Market’ – in the last few years I’ve seen a shift away from fresh produce and toward more prepared food. Not that the cooked stuff is bad, but most of my money goes toward the people bringing out stuff I can take home and turn into a meal myself.

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avatar Terrie Leigh Relf September 12, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Yes, I like to cook, too! I do like many of the food stands, but in general, I tend toward the produce.

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avatar Goatskull September 12, 2010 at 10:09 am

Beer 1, pizza 3/12 or 4.

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avatar Goatskull September 12, 2010 at 10:09 am

I meant to say 3 1/2.

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avatar Brian September 12, 2010 at 11:58 am

What would you consider a 5 point beer?

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avatar Goatskull September 12, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Actually I was being ass backwards. I meant to give their beer 5 and as I said the pizza 3 1/2. I love their beer. I’m especially a fan of their Lost Abbey beers. I used to head up to the Solana one all the time and sometimes the Carlsbad restaurant when they have their beer fests. I’m stoked to have on in OB. Sorry for the confusion. Pizza wise it’s decent. I also like Newport Pizza and Ale.

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avatar Brian September 13, 2010 at 8:31 am

Ah. That makes more sense.

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avatar Terrie Leigh Relf September 13, 2010 at 11:15 am

What beers do you recommend? I’m usually a Guinness Girl. . .

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avatar Goatskull September 13, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Hops wise there’s always Swami’s wipe out. OB Chronic is a good one from the OB restaurant. If you like stouts is the OB location concocted a yummy one called bacon and eggs. It has a strong coffee flavor so it makes it ok to drink beer first thing in the morning. Best thing is go on and have a taste. Also they have lots of guest brews.

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avatar Brian September 13, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Bacon and eggs is delicious. I second that recommendation.

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avatar Terrie Leigh Relf September 15, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Thank you. Sounds good.

Ter

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avatar Seth September 12, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Terrie… let me dodge that question and just say this. Pizza Port has good beer and the pizza is really good at Surf Rider and Espresso. I might even go get a cheesesteak from Surf Rider right now, in fact. Thanks for the article.

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avatar RB September 13, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I was looking forward Pizza Port’s Pizza but it was just a bland average pizza.
Their beers are very good and I would suggest their name should be Beer Port.
Pizza eaters might want to try Lefty’s in Mission Hills (best deep dish in SD, IMO)

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avatar Brian September 13, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Have you tried newly opened Chicago Rocco’s (http://chicagoroccos.com/)? I’m no deep dish aficionado, but I dig their pies. And, for beer lovers, they’ve got a great selection.

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avatar RB September 13, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Brian, I have not try Chicago Rocco’s. I will say their beer list is much better than Lefty’s (also from Chicago). Also, the best beer I have had recently was a Kona IPA at the brewery. They need to get the IPA rather than the Lager to California.

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avatar Terrie Leigh Relf September 15, 2010 at 5:02 pm

I haven’t been there. I LOVE deep dish, but haven’t had it for years.

Ter

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avatar Goatskull September 13, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Ahh…..If there’s one thing that will draw as much passion as politics it’s pizza. I guess it’s all a matter of preference. Personally I like their pizza. I won’t give it a 5 on a scale of 1 to 5 but I do like it, especially with their whole grain crust. My favorite pizza in SD is probably La Pizzeria Arrivederci in Hillcrest and even The Bronx in Mission Hills. I will have to try Surfrider as I never heard of it until this article.

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avatar Goatskull September 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm

I forgot. Believe it or not the pizza at Wine Steels in Hillcrest is pretty good too.

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avatar Jon September 13, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Don’t also forget there is a Wine Steals in Liberty Station by the Sail Ho golf course. They also just opened another at the ballpark where you can see some of the game from the roof. Pretty cool, and really great guys that own/operate the place.

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avatar Goatskull September 13, 2010 at 7:06 pm

I know. Been to it a couple times but never had their food. Haven’t been to the down town one yet.

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avatar Sarah September 13, 2010 at 8:23 pm

but, but, but…

I’d have to leave OB!

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avatar Goatskull September 14, 2010 at 8:38 am

You can leave for a couple hours. OB isn’t going anywhere. I promose I will make sure it’s still there when you get back.

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avatar Sarah September 14, 2010 at 1:06 pm

I’m scared. :-)

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avatar liveinOB September 17, 2010 at 5:50 pm

um, aren’t we supposed to be talking about Marciso’s Food Truck?

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avatar Pam Rider September 11, 2010 at 1:08 pm

There’s a Mariscos German at 35th and University. Must be a twin of the OB truck, as has been in the City Heights location for most of the summer. Certainly has great food.

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avatar Terrie Leigh Relf September 11, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Hi Pam:

Thank you for reading. That is actually where the OB-situated truck moved.

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avatar Adrienne September 11, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Nico’s is FILTHY and disgusting- why are they still in business. Last time I had the misfortune to get a burrito there there was a piece of tin foil in it. What a bunch of lazy whiners, if you want business, get good food and a clean place of business.

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avatar kenloc September 11, 2010 at 3:50 pm

I’ve eaten at Nico’s many times and love it.The breakfast burritos are great.Finding piece of foil in your food isn’t the end of the world.Worse things have been found in burritos than foil.If a clean eating establishment is what your looking for you may want to bypass taco trucks.Not known to be the cleanest establishments.Nico’s,and other OB eateries, have a right to complain if they are losing business to people who don’t play by the rules(permits,etc.)As for Nico’s being filthy,I have never seen that.Neither has the department of health.Ortega’s has been temporarily shut down by the department of health before and I haven’t eaten there since.If you know of a similar incident with Nico’s please share.

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avatar dave rice September 12, 2010 at 9:40 am

While it’s a bummer Nico’s got the truck kicked out, I can see their point about the unfair playing field, given their cost of running an actual restaurant versus just rolling up in a truck. And as far as I’m concerned, they’re the best of the worst in town when it comes to fast food Mexi – Roberto’s was sporting a C rating placard for a while a few months back, Liticker’s always screws up my order, and I’ve got beef with El Rodeo because they charge extra for cups of salsa.

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avatar Terrie Leigh Relf September 11, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Thank you for reading, Adrienne.

I know that Nico’s is a popular place with the locals, and that it sees a considerable amount of daily business.

My feeling is that when we’re not happy with the way a business operates, we need to provide constructive criticism accordingly. Boycotting an establishment aside, conditions won’t improve unless someone says something.

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avatar ClubStyle_DJ September 11, 2010 at 4:30 pm

I’m wondering what happend to the food stands between the bank and the old RPS. After all that hype and controversy… I looked up one day and it’s completely gone! Guess the surf/skate shop took the parking lot back?

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avatar Seth September 11, 2010 at 5:36 pm

It would seem that part of the problem with this whole thing was that everyone who had access to a parking lot in that area started to sublease like crazy to food “pushcarts” to help pay the bills. 3 sellers in RPS, 1 at OB Tire and Mariscos at Appletree. Perfectly reasonable, but whatever the exact rules are, I think it is fair to say that the definition of “pushcart” was probably a bit too broad in some spots, and that yeah, the cumulative impact of it all was going to be a drain on businesses like Nico’s. Anyhow, it’s a bummer that there was confusion as to the rules, and I hope it all gets worked out. My guess is that there will be a bit more legal wrangling before this is all over, however.

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avatar Terrie Leigh Relf September 11, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Thank you for reading the piece and responding with this. I learned that some of the same situation applied. . .They were going to be fined unless they moved, as the businesses there didn’t have the proper licenses. It’s in process, though. I heard that the fine is $1,000 per day, so you can imagine how that would encourage someone to move out in a hurry.

As to who lodged the complaint, I don’t know.

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avatar ob40 September 15, 2010 at 4:13 pm

The food stands between the bank had to be removed due to zoning restrictions, etc. Specifically, the stands were on top of mandated handicapped parking. I got this info directly from Gio Ingolia of the OBTC.

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avatar Marisa September 11, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Free enterprise in action. I want to run my business and I don’t want any competition. Nico’s stance not surprising… I can’t stand their bland food. Subway’s competition is not a taco stand… it’s going to be one of the fantastic delis that make way better sandwiches in OB. Meatball sub at Poma’s anyone? or a BLAT at Chris’s Deli? Why eat at Subway when there are so many better choices in OB? Don’t blame a taco shop for your failing restaurant…. don’t 90% of restaurants fail?

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avatar Ian September 12, 2010 at 12:11 pm

It is funny how liberals will try to blame anything on free enterprise, even when it is government restrictions that are the direct cause of the problem.

What the thinker thinks the prover proves.

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avatar Marisa September 14, 2010 at 11:01 pm

LOL @ government restrictions…. who do you think lobbies government? It’s not the Marisco’s of the world, it’s the Subways.

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avatar Ian September 15, 2010 at 2:44 pm

So, tell me, how is this free enterprise in action?

And who supports these government restrictions, lobbies, and the status quo with their vote? You?

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avatar Frank Gormlie September 15, 2010 at 3:09 pm

I’m glad that we have certain government “restrictions” – so our food is not tainted, etc. Some times, though, certain code violations are used to inhibit small enterprises or even folks handing out free food to the homeless.

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avatar Ian September 15, 2010 at 5:40 pm

I agree 100%. There are good restrictions and bad restrictions. But this is not a case of the downside of free enterprise.

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avatar Seth September 15, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Ian, I would like to move next door to you and run a nightclub in the house with an adult bookstore in the garage.

Hope that’s cool.

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avatar Ian September 15, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Seth, I would like to create a restriction so that your home must be completely sanitary prior to any friends or families entering. Before you invite your friends over, and every time you invite your friends over, you will be required to fill out this 30 page form, and get on a waiting list to pay for a government inspector to approve your dinner party.

Hope that’s cool!

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avatar Jon September 15, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Oh Ian, you really missed the mark there. The government cannot, and SHOULD NOT have any jurisdiction over what Seth does in his own home (here comes the kicker) as long as it is not affecting the “public” good. Seth can keep his home as filthy as he wants! However, the moment his stinky house starts attracting vermin and smells that affect MY home, small children that have to live in his home, or the structural well being of the house, the rule of law must come into play. That’s the point Seth was making. A night club/adult bookstore next door to you will undoubtedly affect your well being. A messy house may not affect you at first, but left out of control, it will, and you will either have to move, take matters into your own hands (clean up your neighbors house?), or rely on government intervention to take care of the filth.

I don’t think anyone here is saying you should not be skeptical of government or governmental regulations, but there is a fine line between healthy skepticism and irrational fear of government.

I will happily eat crow if you can show me a case of a government agency telling someone to clean up their house and fill out a 30 page form before having friends over for a bbq.

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avatar Jon September 15, 2010 at 9:59 pm

p.s. Seth, I’m sure your house is not filthy, just trying to make a point. Although I’m not so sure you aren’t running an adult bookstore out of your garage….that may require further investigation. ;)

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avatar Seth September 15, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Good stuff, Jon.

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avatar Ian September 15, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Jon, that was exactly my point. I am glad that you got it!

If you read the article again, it says that Mariscos was forced to move because of sanitation standards, since they didn’t provide a restroom for customers.

Do you think that that is a reasonable restriction for a food truck that is parked in a private parking lot? While my analogy was a bit extreme, I made it so to make the point clear. My post was a response to the allegation that this was an example of the free enterprise at work, and Seth mistaking my critique of this allegation as a desire for anarchy.

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avatar Jon September 16, 2010 at 9:40 am

C’mon Ian, don’t act like I was proving your point. You’re comparing apples to oranges. You’re saying inviting people to your house for dinner is the same as eating at a taco truck parked in the lot of a grocery store. Nice try though.

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avatar Ian September 16, 2010 at 2:25 pm

C’omn Jon, the point is that you clearly missed my point. You are going to have to think a bit harder if you want to get cleaver with me.

The analogy between ones home and the food truck was initialized by Seth, I only played along with his analogy. If you want to call someone out for comparing apples to oranges call out Seth. I won’t though, because I understand that analogies are just comparisons, not one-to-one mappings.

I have said it multiple times and I’ll say it again, my point is that the reason Mariscos was moved is not an example of free enterprise at work, rather, it is an example, in my opinion, of over regulation, just as would be the case in the home sanitation regulation analogy.

avatar Ian September 16, 2010 at 2:33 pm

One more thing. To further play Seth’s analogy, I don’t think that it would be over-regulation if the ‘Mariscos Strip-Club and Night-Club truck’ was asked to leave because of zoning laws. That would be a case of an appropriate regulation.

I hope these explanations and examples help you sharpen your pencil!

avatar Jon September 16, 2010 at 3:37 pm

I don’t know Ian, I keep re-reading your posts, and it appears your just backpeddling and talking in circles about missing points and proving points. But I will give you the benefit of the doubt and agree that you were simply “trying” to prove a point that Mariscos moving was not an example of free enterprise at work, but rather over-regulation. Although, in my opinion it was a somewhat unhealthy combination of the two. I think, in the end, we probably are much more on the same page here than we realize, but often times in a forum such as this, it’s difficult to decipher the little innuendos or inflections you might pick up on in a face to face conversation. Not to mention all the scrolling back & forth you have to do to piece together the various conversations happening. So if I misunderstood the points you were trying to make when you talked about government making you clean your house before inviting friends over, then my bad.

Good talk, I need a beer.

(sorry, this looks out of context since I couldn’t reply any further toward the end of our discussion)

avatar Ian September 16, 2010 at 8:06 pm

It is a pretty simple analogy, if you are not willing to step away from your dogma, no explanation I make will mean anything to you. I know you want to make it about me, and have some sort of gotcha moment, but it is just not working.

And from your post it seems that you do in fact understand the analogy, but instead of admitting that you missed it the first time and we are on the same page you want to spin it as me backpedaling and talking in circles.

I’ll leave it at that and crack a cold one too. Peace.

avatar Seth September 15, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Ian, I’d say touche, but (a) I’m actually not on the opposite end of the spectrum as libertarians, and (b) in this case we are talking about basic zoning regulations, not some draconian, hyper-regulatory banning of trans fat foods or making the tamale lady wear a body condom as she serves people food.

Mariscos was great, and whether or not is a land use that should be allowed in that zone (or at least a nearby one) is certainly up for debate, no question. Currently, it is not, so IMO the primary issue here regarding the government regulation is fairness. Is everyone within that zone being asked to play by the same rules, or not? And if not, do the rules need to be changed?

Some other brief points worth mentioning:

– As stated in the article, a complaint was filed with neighborhood code compliance by a private business. While the regulations are on the book and all, the government didn’t come down here until they were asked to. So the line between market and government are a little blurred here. It was very much in several people’s business interest to get rid of them.

– Mariscos was also not even the first business of this kind in the area to have a similar complaint filed against them with neighborhood code compliance. I’ll let you guess who the other one is, but suffice to say, they are suddenly no longer around. Speaking of them, though… do you feel like making the deregulation case when it comes to building a restaurant on top of a handicapped parking spot and digging your own utility trenches in the middle of the night? Good luck to the guy, but… wow.

– Personally, not a big fan of calling codes unless it is a crime or fire hazard. I guess I can understand how it is different if you are trying to keep a business afloat, but I do share with you the idea that government shouldn’t be so ubiquitous and unlimited in scope and authority. And let’s face it, at least half of the homes and businesses in OB are probably in violation of some sort of code, lol.

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avatar Ian September 16, 2010 at 12:03 am

I am sorry Seth, as is often the case (and it can be seen daily on liberal news sources) you have mistaken my libertarianism for anarchy.

I think that the government (and by this I mean all levels of government: community, local, state, federal) plays an important and essential role. I pretty much agree with everything you have said, but my post was in the context of the contention that this is “free enterprise in action”, which is clearly not the case.

Is it not true that the food truck was forced to move because there was no bathroom provided there in the parking lot?

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avatar Seth September 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm

I believe that is true, Ian, although I might phrase it differently. As far as I understand it, the zoning allows for both “restaurants” and “pushcarts”, each of which are subject to their own set of regulations and requirements. There’s definitely some gray area between the two of them, and you probably have to go case-by-case for each of the businesses in question to decide which category they fall into, and whether they are getting the short end of the stick or just trying to exploit a loophole.

If the community desired it, the zoning and use regulations could very likely be modified to better accommodate some of these gray areas like Mariscos. But I think we should be clear that the totally predictable blowback on that reduced government restriction would be likely to come from local business interests, and not area liberals who just have an inclination to over-regulate everything in their path.

Both the government and community would probably also want to consider the possible impact of that reduced regulation on traffic, parking and brick-and-mortar storefronts, because if you allow for those kinds of establishments in that zone, you might not end up with one Mariscos or OB Kanobe’s, but 10 or 12 of them.

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avatar Ian September 16, 2010 at 2:51 pm

I pretty much agree, again. Although I don’t agree that the blow back from reduced government regulation would necessarily come from the ‘business community’. There would clearly be other business that would benefit from Mariscos and food trucks (like the other food trucks, Apple Tree, the Pawn shop across the street). Considering the, in my opinion, lack of good food in Ocean Beach, I think increased foot traffic in that area would be positive for many businesses. Of course, Nicos would still be pissed,but maybe it would force them to up their quality to what it used to be.

And to say that there is not enough parking in the Apple Tree lot, is kind of out of touch.

avatar kenloc September 16, 2010 at 3:53 pm

I think Mariscos and OB Kanobe’s crossed the line from pushcart to restaurant when the put in dining areas for people to sit and eat.Sounds like a restaurant to me.I personally am not sad to see either go.There are plenty of places to eat in O.B. Did anyone notice the name of the Tamale stand next to OB Kanobe’s? “Odad’s” Too funny!”They are McDonalds.We are Mcdowells.They have the golden arches,we have the golden arcs.They have the big mac,we have the big mic”

avatar Ian September 16, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Ya, tables and chairs are crossing the line.

avatar Seth September 16, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Ian, to clarify… I’m not just referring to parking in the Appletree lot. In the hypothetical of relaxed use regulations for that *entire* zone, as opposed to a variance of some kind granted to only Mariscos and/or OB Kanobe, you could end up with one or more of these establishments in every parking lot in the area. Not only do you like lose a significant amount of parking capacity in that context, but you also potentially bring more cars to the area who need parking from people who want to eat at these places (anyone who has friends in LA knows that people follow some of the more gourmet trucks around in almost cult-like fashion). Hey, that increased traffic might be a good thing in many respects, but my point was just that people should consider it ahead of time. Parking availability is obviously a big issue in OB, after all.

As to your other point about food trucks actually being a positive for some business, that is probably true. But I think my point remains, even if doesn’t apply to ALL local business interests. If a move were made to change the rules to accommodate food trucks, you better believe that, right and/or wrong, some businesses would fight that largely out of their own self-interest.

Just my opinion, of course. Good thread.

avatar lud September 12, 2010 at 1:03 pm

awesome sandwiches at Casanovas too Abbott

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avatar liveinOB September 17, 2010 at 5:57 pm

cassanova’s is no longer cassanova’s

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avatar Brian September 12, 2010 at 12:07 am

Thank you to OB Rag and Terrie for looking into this. *This* is the sort of thing that make me like this website. I dig the hyper-local news.

I’m bummed to hear that Nico’s had a hand in the taco truck leaving. I am a fan of Nico’s food. I believe in if you’re losing business, improve your product… don’t lean on the government to eliminate your competition. But, perhaps some of my non food-related views are bleeding through.

Anyway, thanks again Rag for digging up the truth. I’m no fan of Subway’s food, but if folks like ‘em, I’d hate for them to abandon the business for lies.

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avatar Ian September 12, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Nicos was good 10-15 years ago. Their quality has been on a steady downward slide for many years. Most locals know this, and those who used to eat there regularly, don’t do so not because of Marisco’s, but because of the lack of consistency and care that used to be apparent.

Marisco’s was top 3 for quality food in O.B., it is a shame.

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avatar Terrie Leigh Relf September 12, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Thank you for reading and replying, Ian. I forget the name of that famous newscaster who said it. . .Walter Cronkite, perhaps? It goes something like this: There are three sides to every story. . .My side, your side, and what really happened.

I like to know what really happened, and even then, isn’t the proverbial “all” subject to interpretation, particularly when it applies to the interpretation of legal issues. The letter of the law versus the interpretation of the law was how it was explained to me.

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avatar OB Mercy September 12, 2010 at 8:11 am

I’m still sorta new to living in OB, although I’ve visited here for almost 30 yrs. All I can say is, Food Trucks are the biggest food trend now, since some of them have gone gourmet. Witness the hottest new show on the Food Network, “The Great Food Truck Race.” All I can say is, I hope German comes back soon, their smoked Marlin tacos rocked!!

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avatar Jon September 12, 2010 at 12:59 pm

didn’t Slightly Stoopid write a song about Nico’s? I’m not a huge fan, but I had a roommate that was obsessed with that band and I seem to recall a song all about Nico’s. Apparently they liked the food.

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avatar annagrace September 12, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Food trucks are getting a lot of coverage, particularly in LA. The author states in the attached link that licensed food trucks in LA are inspected and regulated. What kind of regulations exist here in our “business friendly” city? Are food trucks licensed and inspected here? And the author raises this final issue: “Do food trucks take business away from established restaurants? Undoubtedly, especially in areas where those restaurants tend to be both expensive and mediocre. Great cooking always wins out.”
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-gold-food-trucks-20100912,0,4501409.story

An interesting sub-story is that corporate fast food chains and mainstream restaurants are embracing the food truck. What does it mean if regulations & licensing costs give these entities an edge over the small entrepreneur and we wind up with a Subway food truck and lose Mariscos German? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/09/food-trucks-become-mainst_n_710833.html

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avatar OB Mercy September 12, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Hey lud….Casanova’s is no longer, thank god! Most of us right here on Long Branch & Abbott thought their pizza and sammies sucked. Luckily, in their place is now Surf Rider Pizza Cafe and they rock! I’m soooooo picky about my pizza…being from NY makes me like that I guess. I’ve only liked Bronx Pizza so far in Hillcrest. But now Surf Rider makes it just as good! Also awesome baked goods for those munchies. Spread the word!

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avatar kenloc September 12, 2010 at 4:51 pm

I too am from NY and Bronx pizza rocks.The pizza from Pomas is pretty decent.

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avatar Frank Gormlie September 13, 2010 at 8:00 am

Kenloc – where have ya been? We’ve had many ‘best pizza’ discussions on this blog. Don’t forget the ol’ favorite : Expresso’s Pizza on Sunset Cliffs!

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avatar dave rice September 12, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Wow, I was not aware they finally caved. I was never too big a fan, but I’d occasionally pick up a ‘party pizza’ when I was down on Abbott just because it was only a block or so walk…

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avatar Frank Gormlie September 13, 2010 at 9:18 am

Hey everyone, this was Terrie’s first post with the OB Rag – and she hit a homer (if ya like baseball analogies) – great job, Terrie, and a great response from our readers.

On Nicos: I have relatives who years ago, saw a piece of chicken hit the floor in Nico’s kitchen and it flew right back into whatever was being prepared, and they haven’t been back since. Yes, I think their qualify has gone downhill but everytime I pass by there, people are lined up.

Had some real problems with Casanovas, and for at least 6 months I’d go down there and support them by buying a sandwich weekly. But the meat inside got smaller and smaller and at one point I had to repeat that famous quote from our recent electoral history: “where’s the beef???” So, I’m ready to try Surf Rider.

Some while ago, Patty and I bought Roberto’s rolled tacos – and were so surprised by what we found (or didn’t find) we took photos and wrote a post about it, called “Hey Roberto’s – where’s the beef?” (Wow, keep coming up with that question.) Robertos used to have the best chicken burrito in town …..

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avatar just my 2 cents September 13, 2010 at 9:08 pm

We were at that place that is being redone down by Robb Field several months ago , we had a table by the kitchen and saw item’s hit the floor and right back to the table they went. As well as servers who ” served” and also … ” cashed out ” with out washing first which is a big time NO NO according to state law……
So it happens……

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avatar Terrie Leigh Relf September 13, 2010 at 11:18 am

Thank you Frank et al!

Where is Surf Rider Pizza? I live on Santa Cruz and Cable and while I walk around the neighborhood all the time, I haven’t seen it.

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avatar OB Mercy September 13, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Hey Terrie….Surf Rider is on Abbott, corner of Muir. Was Casanovas. Red Velvet cupcakes, triple chocolate cupcakes, cream cheese brownies, lemon cake, banana bread, oatmeal, and chocolate chip cookies as big as your head….all made right there! And of course, kick ass pizza. Their signature pizza is my favorite, Roasted Garlic, Gorganzola cheese, basil, white sauce…yumm! All the traditional ones too…slices and whole pies.

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avatar Terrie Leigh Relf September 15, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Ok. I remember Cassanova’s now. I’ll have to check it out. Sounds divine!

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avatar just my 2 cents September 13, 2010 at 3:17 pm

A lunch/catering truck should know the laws as should any place that serves food. Those laws are put in place for a reason public saftey. Hopefully they can right the ship and get back in OB……….

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avatar Seth September 13, 2010 at 11:10 pm

The laws were about the zoning/land use, not the operation of the truck.

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avatar Ian September 13, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Ya, that truck was a huge hazard.

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avatar BillRayDrums September 14, 2010 at 9:33 am

That’s a real drag. For about a year now I’ve been having the breakfast burrito from Nico’s…however I have this personal rule to “stay away from controversial food”….

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avatar Abby September 15, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Does Nico’s even serve fish tacos?

And I’ve never seen that Subway looking busy, even before the taco truck came to town.

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avatar Kathy September 15, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Nico’s is scary!

South Beach has the best fish tacos – wahoo & mahi are real mild – grilled, not fried & 2 are a meal. After 10 p.m., all tacos & pints are $2.50. You can’t beat that. It’s one of the few places in OB you can get real food after 9 p.m.

I still haven’t figured out that line at Hodad’s – those people are following a trend instead of their tastebuds!

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avatar dave rice September 16, 2010 at 11:10 am

All tacos are $2.50 after 10 at South Beach? I was not aware of that! I thought the deal was only good on Tuesdays before 8…love me some shrimp tacos and shark tostadas.

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avatar Abby September 16, 2010 at 11:47 am

I did not know that Kathy! Thanks for the heads up, the South Beach tacos are worth staying up for!

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avatar Debbie September 16, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Does anyone know the status of the restaurant on the pier? The city put out a bid for the new lease term. Will the current operators continue or……?????

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avatar just my 2 cents September 17, 2010 at 8:58 am

I have never seen so much back and forth splitting hairs and disecting words over illegal parking. If you really want something to get up in arms about: How about the fact that despite the fact that is posted ” no dogs allowed per city code” the farmers market allows dogs into the food areas !! Vendors reach across to stroke pets then prepare food without washing it’s a health hazard according to certified farmers market rules and state law….ok bite this one off is it right or wrong to ban bogs from the farmers market OH yeah FYI: All other county farmers markets DO NOT ALLOW DOGS ! And the law is enforced
The pier cafe , still in talks with the city on who gets the rights to operate it.

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avatar OBWarZone September 17, 2010 at 9:32 am

Had surfrider last night…..WOW!! try their special surfrider pizza>carrot cake cookie filled w/ cream cheese frosting. I’ll be back.

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