“I owned a semi truck company. It was in an industrial area in Otay Mesa, California. It’s just across the Mexican border from a city that has the exact same name but in Spanish, and it’s an industrial zone. I would go there to get lunch where Oscar Valenzuela worked, and I asked Oscar if he could show me how to cook. Then I bought him a lunch truck for $20,000. This was the first taco I had there.

“We have a 50/50 mix of canola and olive oil, which we put the shrimps in on the grill. We just recently started adding minced garlic—just a little bit, the tip of a teaspoon per taco. Then we make a mixture of granulated garlic, pepper, and salt, and we add that, the garlic, and then crushed red peppers. Then we have a bottle in which we put about 50 percent Worcestershire sauce, 25 percent low-sodium soy sauce, and 20 percent lime juice, and we just give it a dash of that. It gives it a nice color and a really good taste. Everything emulsifies right there on the grill.

The Players:

• Shrimp

• Crushed red peppers

• Monterrey Jack cheese

• Corn tortilla

• Avocado

• Cabbage

• Tomato

• Onion

• Olive oil

• Cilantro

“I work a lot, and I’m buying produce every day. Just for today and tomorrow, I bought nine cases of avocados. We don’t charge extra for avocado. That’s one of our main things. We put avocado on everything; people love it, especially here in California. They like healthy, nutritious things.

“We put the shrimp in a corn tortilla and we put cheese on it. Once it’s placed in a tortilla, we put that in a paper boat, then we add cabbage, tomato, onion, cilantro, and heavy avocado.

“We buy 5,000 pounds of shrimp per month; that’s how many shrimp tacos we sell.”

—Juan Bernardo Montes de Oca

Owner, Oscars Mexican Seafood

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