The Wahoo's story begins in 1988, when the three Wahoo's brothers, Wing, Ed and Mingo, combined their love of surf and food to create a restaurant with an eclectic Mexican/Brazilian/Asian menu and a Hawaiian north-shore vibe.
Wing, Ed and Mingo were born with the love of restaurants in their blood. Growing up in San Paolo, Brazil, they actually spent their early years above their parents' Chinese restaurant. After school, you could find the brothers in the restaurant peeling shrimp or washing dishes. In 1975, the family moved to Orange County, California, where their dad opened the famous Shanghai Pine Garden Chinese restaurant on Balboa Island. People such as John Wayne would frequently eat there.
The brothers grew up both in the restaurant and on the beaches. Addicted to surfing, they would travel south to Mexico to surf and there got introduced to the fish taco. Years of surfing trips to Mexico created a craving for the speciality of charbroiled fish, salsa and tortillas.
In 1988, the brothers decided to import the fish taco to Orange County, California, and give it a unique twist. They combined the fish taco with their Brazilian favorites and Asian inspired items. The brothers decorated the original restaurant with the donations of near-by surf companies and that's how Wahoo's Fish Taco was born. Wahoo's then quickly developed a loyal and steady following, to where some locals came in daily and servers automatically knew what their customer would order.
In 1990, Steve Karfaridis, joined as a partner and the one location in Costa Mesa rapidly developed into multi-locations in Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach.
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