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OB’s Grill & Bar ~ Taco Tuesday ~ Manhattan Beach

1:51 PM PST on January 23, 2007

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    OB's ~ 3610 Highland Ave. Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 (TACO Guide)

    I'm not a sports-bar kind of man. One, I'm nearly 100% deef from years of head-banging at Satanic heavy-metal concerts and can't hear a word anyone is saying to me when the music rises above a whisper. Two, if I'm going to a bar at all it's either to pick up on some $5 rock-hootch or wallow in the misery of others. Sports bars are too "Ben Affleck" for my tastes; screaming, sauced sausagefests going riotous over some shit that's just going to happen again next week...or next year...Plus, this particular bar's motto is "One God ~ One Country ~ One Fin," and I don't think they mean glorious Allah, Him be praised.

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    What brought me to the digs of OB's, this notorious Manhattan Beach sports bar named after an old-skool feminine hygiene product was their crispy shelled institution, TACO TUESDAY!!! AAAAAAAA! Every Tuesday, OB's slings $1.75 tacos and those who brave 10 of these massive tacos get their name in The Big Ten Club and onto the wall plaque, plus maybe the tacos become $1 or are free. Also, very icy drafts are just $1, and I think margaritas are on sale, too.

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    South Bay TACO street-soldier, "Cris-tal" Mack, scared up a small crew and secured a table amongst the bustling room right against the open window, far enough to breathe some fresh air as OB's floor stinks like Norm from Cheer's pee-pee. Things at OB's were kind of nice, defying my judegments of sports bars in general. The vibe is friendly, with revelers fully stoked on sensing the sun going down on the sea nearby, tanking up on cheap beer, and shooting the shit. In all directions, tiny, white, blonde things in mini-skirts and skinny, wave-sculpted barneys with their baseball hats skewed at all angles went to and from the tables, cheering on the game, rocking out a little, and getting progressively plastered.

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    It was all pretty fun, with some loud rock blaring overhead, especially the faster and furiouser the beer came, set off by some really tasty and really oily potato skins and calamari. Then came TACO TIME! L.A. Taco gotta get our name on that plaque someday, but the challenge isn't so much finding the room for so many tacos. The bigger challenge is having the desire to eat ten of these particular tacos. Although TACO Tuesday is a blast in terms of the scenery and mad-capped action, the tacos blow.

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    With thin flour shells that stretch much further than the contents do, the tacos come in beef, fish, and chicken. The fish is possibly the best, as the strong flavors and juicy white fish overwhelm the massive doughy tortilla that tastes super-dry with the chicken and slightly less so with the beef. Glued together with a thick rail of orange cheese, the beef was scrumptious in texturous medium-sized and long-cooked chunks, though sort of flavorless, with the cruel irony that there wasn't enough of it, sitting in a pile of lettuce drenched in cheese oil, and a dollop of sour cream for the helluvait. The thing was a little hard to chew and get down. The fish though, was juicy, lightly cooked, and fluffy, creating a nice contrast to the crunch of the taco, but again with not enough of the meat. Overall, the tacos are underwhelming, not groos, just sort of bland.

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    Taco Tuesday is a good time, putting a twist on happy hour that makes for a nice meeting point for friends who like a crowd, the game, or cheap antics by the beach. No one expects Manhattan Beach to bust tacos like its TJ, and OB's gets major cred for serving the little guys along with cheap suds and a wild time. Even if we'd prefer El Parian or Yuca's to do the catering here, we should probably get our name on that plaque for all of TACO-kind.

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