But in the end, the tacos turned out beautifully. And the reaction to them was golden: The dishes of tortillas, crisp and greaseless fried fish, and multiple zesty fixings were positively magnetic (my one note: adding some chopped chile to the salsa would have brought some welcome heat). Once it was time to eat, the hungry people around the table descended upon the elements of the fish tacos in unison. Assembling them created a wonderful sense of activity, and everybody loved the taste of everything. "This is why people love fish tacos so much!" enthused my boyfriend, Keith, who apparently had only sampled lesser versions until that afternoon. "Mmm, so sweet," said my mother Anna, the birthday girl, as she slurped the cold pea soup. "I'll eat my own," my father, Ed, informed me, when I offered to share a gargantuan pavlova, spilling over with whipped cream, pastry cream, berry syrup, and macerated fruits.