Santa Mexico

Tacos and kale on Ocean Blvd.

Ocean Boulevard is nearly as far away as you can be from Los Angeles' eastern tracts, where the heart of Southland Mexican cuisine largely resides.

But the just-opened Blue Plate Taco is joining the likes of Border Grill and Mercado in the effort to transform Santa Monica into a Mexican-food town.

Our love of the seafood at Blue Plate Taco's sister restaurant, B.P. Oysterette, necessitated ordering Blue Plate's ceviche. It was much like a cold, cooked seafood salad, one in which the $15 price was justified by a decent amount of lobster meat. The deeply deep-fried tostada that the ceviche is accompanied by played exceptionally well with the snappy squid and tender shrimp and lobster.

The tacos here prove that all tortillas hecho a mano aren't created equal. The crunchy-edged specimens at B.P. Taco would never pass muster at Rocio's Moles de los Dioses. Still, when filled with flaky white fish ($5) and liberally doused in mild "XXX" sauce, it's a fine taco indeed.

What else to eat at a Mexican restaurant off of the Promenade? Kale salad, of course. The Mexican Chopped ($7) stars the in-vogue green and is studded with myriad vegetables and specks of quinoa, and slicked with green goddess dressing.

Blue Plate Taco, 1515 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica; 310-458-2985