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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Tacos Baja Ensenada - East Los Angeles

I've been sitting on this post so long that Tacos Baja Ensenada is now just Tacos Baja. The cement patio tables and benches are long gone. But the fish tacos are still just as good as ever!

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Back in August 2007 (I told you I've been sitting on this post for a long time!), Henry Chan's Food Videos decided we should venture off from our usual Valley Boulevard lunch routine.

The self-serve bar of sliced radishes, chili-roasted chilies, and limes was definitely a good sign.

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I ordered the ceviche. I love ceviche and for $3, I wasn't expecting much. The fish tasted like it had been frozen and then defrosted, and then squirted with lime juice. Not horrible, but definitely not as fresh as it could've been. Of course, the really good ceviches I've eaten are four times as expensive, so match your expectations accordingly.

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Along with the ceviche, I ordered a $2 large fish taco on a flour tortilla. Lightly battered, delicately-flavored, with cabbage, salsa and cream sauce. Yum!

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Henry ordered the fish and shrimp tacos combo with rice and beans for about $5. Because of the batter and the layer of cabbage and salsa, both tacos looked the same. Both were delicious. Not heavy. If the brightly painted walls of the restaurant and ocean decor of the restaurant doesn't transport you to Mexico, these fish tacos surely will.

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I've stopped by on other days and now simply stick to the basic baja fish taco for $1.59.

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One night, I had a craaaaving. A bit of Googling and I found that the restaurant was open until 9 p.m. that evening.

Because it was a Wednesday.

Which meant fish tacos were 99 cents!

Forget taco Tuesdays, 99 cent fish taco Wednesdays are where it's at!

I've tried their stingray tacos, which are only available on weekends. The stingray tasted a bit metallic, for lack of a better word. And again, with batter, cabbage, and salsa, the tacos all looked the same.

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I saw other customers order big bowls of seafood soup, but I just ordered a cup of the stingray soup for $2.49. Mainly broth, some chunks of stingray, and vegetables.

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On one visit, I ventured off from my usual fish tacos and ordered carne asada for $1.29. I actually quite liked the cabbage and salsa and cream sauce with the beef. Made it seem healthier.

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Carnitas taco $1.29.

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Juicy barbacoa $1.29.

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On Wednesdays when they get really busy, I can see into the kitchen where they're running water to defrost huge slabs of the frozen fish. But the tacos themselves are freshly fried and made to order so I don't mind.

I've seen people order boxes and boxes of fish tacos to-go. The oldest '87 told one of our second-cousins and she came with friends and ordered 15 fish tacos in one sitting!

I usually eat two or three fish tacos, and sometimes order them to-go for later. Even cold, they're still mighty good!

Other Mexican restaurants:
Carnitas Michoacan - Los Angeles (Lincoln Heights)
Gabbi's Mexican Kitchen - Orange
King Taco Restaurants #11 - El Monte (Garvey Ave.)
Los Cinco Puntos - Los Angeles
Old Town Mexican Cafe and Cantina - San Diego
Senor Fish - Alhambra
Taqueria Chihuahua - Los Angeles (Mar Vista)

Tacos Baja Ensenada
5385 Whittier Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday to Tuesday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (99 cents fish tacos!)
Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

1 year ago today, Penne with "Italian Sausage" with Fennel.
2 years ago today, I was only halfway through piecing the top of my sushi and dim sum quilt.


  1. The ceviche looks like Kinilaw as what we call in our country but we eat it with rice.

  2. TS,
    No?! Next time you come to SoCal, we'll have to remedy that.

    I think it's pretty much the same principle? Raw fish and lemon/lime juice.


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