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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Baja Fish Tacos - Review #1

Date of Visit: August 3, 2006

Baja Fish Tacos
23020 Lake Forest Dr Ste 130
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
(949) 587-0920

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Appetizer: Chips and Salsa
Entree: Sampler Plate w/ Two Taquitos and a Taco
Drink: Guava Jarritos

Baja Fish Tacos Exterior

Here's a place that was recommended to me quite a while back. I told the person who made the recommendation (Steve Johnson, who runs the Orange County Memories blog and the Junk Food Blog) that I liked Baja Fish Tacos and I was aiming to get back to it soon. I used to go to the one in Laguna Hills all the time when I worked at an office building right across the street and I've been to the one in Santa Ana once or twice and finally made it back (to the Laguna Hills location) in the seven months or so since starting this site.

Baja Fish Tacos Enchilada Platter
Ed's Enchiladas

Due to their location they are hopping busy during weekday lunches but slow on the weeknights and weekends. Since my last visit they have expanded into an adjacent shop space and their lunchtime business is so heavy I could see them expanding again.

Baja Fish Tacos Interior

Baja Fish Tacos Chips and Salsa

Just about the only downside I can think of to Baja Fish Tacos is that you have to pay for a side order of chips and salsa, $1.95, although I can't blame them too much with the amount of wasted salsa I see at some of these places.

Baja Fish Tacos Sampler

My co-worker Ed loaded up on the enchilada platter while I tried their sampler platter (#4 on the menu). This is not an appetizer sampler platter, but two of your choice of beef or chicken taquitos (no mixing and matching) and one of your choice of taco. I opted for the shrimp taco as they make quite simply the best shrimp tacos I have ever tasted. Served on a warmed up flour tortilla with sauteed shrimp, cabbage, a special sauce, and cotija cheese these tacos are a bona fide guilty pleasure . . . or maybe not so guilty. It costs a little extra to upgrade your beef, chicken or fish taco to a shrimp one but it is well worth it. The shrimp taco can be a little drippy, and drippiness usually irks me, but in this case when the sauce drips out of the taco onto the rice on your plate it makes a perfect post-meal topping for all the chips you still have left over. I tried emulating these shrimp tacos at home one time and did a decent job of it.

Baja Fish Tacos Interior Shot #2

Baja Fish Tacos Day of the Dead Decorations
Day of the Dead is Coming

From looking at the top of their beverage refrigerator it appears they are getting ready for El Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, the holiday in which Mexicans honor their loved ones who have passed on. Either that or the people at Baja Fish Tacos are just Oingo Boingo fans . . . or both.

Baja Fish Tacos earns a four Speedy Gonzales rating:

Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales


Anonymous said...

That Enchilada Platter looks just like how I remember it. Their rice was always quite good, and great to mix up with their black beans and salsa.

They had some of the best salsa and hot sauces at the salsa bar. I would mix some of the green salsa with the black beans, enchilada sauce and white rice into a concoction.

ChristianZ said...

Ah, so somebody else knows what I mean about mixing other ingredients with the rice there. Thanks for the comment (and the recommendation), Steve.

Anonymous said...

Do these folks own the Baja Fish Tacos in Laguna Niguel as well? - plates look similar - great food

ChristianZ said...

Yes, they have I think four locations and one of them is in Laguna Niguel.

Anonymous said...

"I opted for the shrimp taco as they make quite simply the best shrimp tacos I have ever tasted."

I'm setting a record of some sort. I've eaten shrimp tacos at Baja Fish Tacos once a week for the past 28 weeks. I describe the shrimp tacos a'la Seinfeld...

"You can't eat them standing up... Your knees will buckle."

I've been going to BFT for over 6 years. I could live off of their rice & beans alone.

Even my wife, who is 1st generation from Guadalajara Mexico says nothing can beat them.

ChristianZ said...

Ah, so you agree with my assessment. With the way you write you should write guest reviews here.

Anonymous said...

BFT has locations in Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel and Santa Ana. I dare anyone to try and find a table during the hours of 11:30AM-2PM at the Santa Ana location. There's a literally a line out the door and around the corner. For almost all Mexican restaurants the rice & beans are an afterthought. I could live off off their rice & pintos beans alone. While their name suggests good fish tacos, their ultimate dish is the blackend shrimp tacos. I once ate their shrimp tacos every Friday for like 12 weeks straight. I'm not kidding. You can't eat the shrimp tacos standing up, your knees will buckle. It's funny, in Santa Ana there's a Chipotle and a Baja Fresh across the street and I'm sure they're having second thoughts about why they came into this neighborhood.

ChristianZ said...

Have you seen our coverage of the Santa Ana location?