As a native of southern California, I have long lamented the dearth of good Mexican food in Japan. It's too heavy to take off here, people say. To which I have to wonder, then why not fish tacos?

Fish tacos, stuffed with fluffy white fish and shredded cabbage and seasoned with lime, have none of the stick-to-your-ribs quality of, say, a bean and cheese burrito. You can't tell me that fish and cabbage are not popular in Japan. Yet fish tacos are harder to find than carne asada (thin-sliced grilled beef) and carnitas (slow-cooked pork).

Fish tacos are native to Baja California, that long, skinny peninsula dangling off the west coast of Mexico. Since they crossed the border — sometime in the 1970s — they've also become the signature dish of California's southernmost city, San Diego. These lands know no winter, so it is only natural that they'd produce a dish that is perfect for summer. And with this being my last A Taste of Home column and San Diego being my hometown, I was determined to find them.