Highly Recommended: Salmon Poke ($7.50)
I was completely surprised how much I enjoyed the sushi tacos, especially considering how many times I've had a lackluster variation of this concept. Too often the fish comes off bland and watery next to the salty, crunchy tortilla shell. But Big & Little's solves that problem by doubling the amount of fish and by pairing it with a creamy wasabi-laced sauce. The fatty flavor of the salmon held up exceptionally well to this format.
Highly Recommended: White Tuna Poke ($7.50)
The white tuna poke was no slouch, either. Both this one and the salmon were equally delicious. Not cheap, mind you, but worth the price.
Highly Recommended: Soft Shell Crab ($7.50)
As I already explained, this one is nearly impossible to eat without making a mess, but it's worth whatever cleaning bill comes your way. The crab comes out of the fryer crisp and crunchy, with just enough natural sweetness left inside. It's topped with both a sweet and spicy sauce and a handful of lettuce. I can't imagine this will be on the menu for long, so get it while you can.
Highly Recommended: Big & Little's Fish Taco ($3.50)
Featuring a big hunk of freshly fried whitefish, there's a reason why this was featured in my list of the best fried fish tacos in Chicago. Though it looks a little messy, and overly cabbage-y, the flavor of the fish stills come out on top. Fantastic stuff.
Highly Recommended: Grilled Mahi ($5)
The firm-fleshed mahi-mahi is the perfect fish to grill, because it doesn't break down into mush after a few minutes of being wrapped up. Though buried beneath a mound of cabbage and lettuce, the fish keeps its integrity. The fantastic sauce sure helps, but the fish does the heavy lifting.
Highly Recommended: Lamb Gyro ($4.50)
Talk about unexpected. This taco-fied version of the ubiquitous stand classic bests 99% of the gyros I've tried around town. Where most versions are overly meaty and creamy messes, this one is slim and restrained, which allows the few strips of salty, crispy meat to work their magic. This was also the only time a flour tortilla was used, and it was a great choice.
Recommended: Bánh Mì ($4)
This approximation of a bánh mì featured loads of fresh cucumber and cilantro, along with a fried fish fillet. Though surprisingly good, it was missing the funk that is necessary for a truly great bánh mì.
Recommended: Oyster ($6)
I like my fried oysters to burst with juice when I bite in, but these were a little too dry, even if they were still tasty. They were paired with a cocktail-inspired sauce, making for a very decent taco.
Recommended: Ahi Poke ($7.50)
This almost made the top category, but wasabi flavor was too dominant. The fish didn't seem as flavorful as the salmon or white tuna poke.
Recommended: Chinese Sweet and Sour Fish ($3.75)
I started laughing the moment I bit in. This tastes exactly like sweet and sour chicken I used to love as a kid. Sure, it's Americanized Chinese food, but it makes for an absolutely hilarious taco, one that I can't help but feel would make for drunk food par excellence. That said, if you have no soft spot for the original, I'd steer way clear of this.
Recommended: Al Pastor ($4)
It didn't look a thing like any al pastor I'd ever seen, and the marinated pork definitely wasn't carved off a spit. But the flavors are here, and I found myself finishing this taco off in no time.
Recommended: Skirt Steak ($4)
The meat was kind of mushy, like it had been over marinated. Luckily, it had some decent char from the grill. Not a bad option, but there are far better versions around town.
Recommended: Fresh Crab Poke ($7.50)
This was the least successful of the sushi tacos. Since it was cooked, it didn't have the same pleasing texture as the raw fish ones. By no means inedible, this one might not be worth the price.
Recommended: Carnitas ($3.50)
The braised meat was griddled to order until inordinately crispy, and I can just imagine the fine cooks at Carnitas Uruapan having a heart attack if they saw pork being treated like this. Yet, those fatty, crispy edges were kind of irresistible. I couldn't finish the whole thing, but I'm glad I tried it.
Not Recommended: Fried Tilapia ($4.25)
Definitely not a disaster, but this one was nowhere near as good as Big & Little's fried whitefish taco. I admit that it looks great, but it was surprisingly unsatisfying.
Not Recommended: Fried Shrimp ($4.25)
This less successful option was brought down by overcooked shrimp and an overly creamy tarter sauce.
Not Recommended: Spicy Thai Fish ($3.75)
The sweet chili sauce was way too sweet and only marginally spicy. The heavy dose overpowered everything else.
Not Recommended: Hawaiian ($3.50)
This was the least successful taco I encountered. The name hinted at balance of fresh fruit and grilled pork, but the pickled chiles were far too aggressive, steamrolling over the other ingredients.