Only 5 minutes east of downtown LA, this Whittier Boulevard seafood taqueria has half a dozen small seats inside, but has plenty of outdoor patio seating.
I showed up about 2 pm after the lunch rush and had 6 people ahead of me. The line moved fast and I placed my order in just a few minutes.
As expected, this is the busiest day of the week, but the cooks of Tacos Baja are efficient (they fry up a basket full of fish filets to stay ahead) and my taco was ready in no time.
The deep fried batter is well-seasoned and cooked to perfection. The fillet has a thick seasoned crust and the bass fish filet is flaky and moist.
I would have preferred one meatier fillet over two thin ones, so the fish flavor is more pronounced. But this is a very minor complaint. (I've been here a few times, and sometimes I do get one large filet per taco.)
The Fish Taco is loaded down with a Mexican-style chopped tomato/cabbage slaw that is topped with cream and chile sauce. When you try to pick up the taco half of the slaw is left on the plate, so be sure to get a fork to finish it off with.
The chopped veggie topping has just the right amount of chile heat -- not too much. The combination of chopped red onion, tomato, cabbage and cilantro is a good contrast to deep fried battered fish.
This is a substantial Fish Taco for 99 cents. An order of two is plenty for most appetites, but if you are unsure, then order an extra one so you don't have to wait in line again. And you will definitely want more than one -- they are that tasty.
While you are waiting for your order make sure to visit the condiments cart. There is a tray of grilled light green "bell peppers" that are dusted in salty chile powder. They are brought out warm and are absolutely delicious. But be warned, the first bite is a spicy one, but stay with it as your taste buds settle in. The second one you taste will be even better. (And make sure to have a bit of water on hand to smooth the way.) The other condiments are sliced radishes and lime (to squeeze on your tacos.)
I haven't tried other seafood menu items, but I noticed a few of my neighbors enjoying large bowls of tomato and chile Caldos (broths or soups) loaded with pescado (fish,) camarone (shrimp,) and a mixo (seafood combination.) While the most expensive item on the menu ($8.99 - $12.99,) it's still a decent deal. There are also a large selection of chilled seafood cocteles or cocktails. And of course they carry typical grilled meat-filled tacos, tortas, burritos, plus rice and bean combo plates.
Make sure to visit Tacos Baja for their Wednesday 99 cent Fish Taco, or any day really, since they normally cost just $1.69. And watch my Cheap$kate Dining 99 Cent Fish Taco video for my 1 to 9 rating, 9 being best. I know it's a foregone conclusion, but you will enjoy the bustling scene and tasty food footage. Finally make sure to check back for The 99 Cent Chef's Fish Taco recipe.
99 Cent Fish Taco from Tacos Baja - Cheap$kate Dining VIDEO
Play it here, video runs 3 minutes, 48 seconds.
16032 Whittier Blvd.
Whittier, CA 90603
ph: (323) 887-1980For Tacos Baja website, click here.
99 thanks to Bob McGuinness for shooting The Chef. (Click here to see him in action, in last shot of video.)
To view Cheap$kate Dining Video on YouTube, click here.