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#31. Enchilada Combo at Baja Fish Tacos

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Edwin Goei
We continue to countdown our 100 favorite dishes at local restaurants. We'll be sharing these with you every weekday until our annual Best Of Issue comes out. Enjoy!

#31. Enchilada Combo at Baja Fish Tacos

This choice only applies to the Baja Fish Tacos in Santa Ana, not so much the one in Lake Forest, which I only kinda like.  

And only the carne asada enchilada with red sauce, rice and refried beans.  I cannot vouch for any of the other enchiladas, because, well, is there really a point?  Herewith are two rolled corn tortillas stuffed full of fire grilled steak, hacked to itty bitty chunks, some of the edges burnt crisp almost to ember.  It's draped in red chile sauce and smothered under a thin veneer of cheese melted under a broiler until all is bubbly and oozy. 

The gritty char, the velvet of the cheese and the acid tang of the enchilada sauce meld into something worthy of a telenovela -- cheesy, sultry, and full of scene-stealing actors. 

Flanking it on both sides, the rice and beans.  Oh those rice and beans!  These aren't just mere supporting players. The beans are so blubbery it's almost soup; but as soon as you rake it up with a fork, it seems to congeal at the cooling touch of the metal -- a sign that lard is probably the secret ingredient. Then there's the rice. It's as fluffy as cotton, almost as flavorful as the rice they serve with Hainan chicken.  What's in it?  Probably butter, or more lard.  Whatever it is, it makes these two sides, in my humble opinion, the best rice and beans north of the Rio Grande and west of the Mississippi.

When I'm not particularly hungry, I just order a bowl of it, scarf it in spoonfuls with plenty of the pico de gallo and call it a meal.  And oh!  Don't forget to chomp on a fresh serrano chile before each and every bite.  That's essential!

Baja Fish Tacos, 3664 South Bristol St., Santa Ana, CA 92704, (714)641-4836.

 The rest of the list!

#100. Jerk Carnitas Torta at The Crosby
#99. Nem Nuong Cuon at Brodard
#98. Pork Chop Anything at Nice Time Deli
#97. Flying Saucer at Alberto's
#96. Frozen Custard at Marc Burger's in Macy's Signature Kitchen
#95. Collard Greens at Johnny Reb's
#94. Strawberry Shortcake from Job's Daughters
#93. Cuban Sandwich at DeSimone's Deli
#92. Lamb with Preserved Cabbage at Mas Islamic Chinese
#91. Baked Rice at Luc Dinh Ky
#90. Beans on Toast at The Olde Ship
#89. Midnight Al Pastor Burrito or Taco at Taqueria Tapatia
#88. Budino di Cioccolato, Pizzeria Ortica
#87. Beef Teriyaki Bowl, Teriyami
#86. Salmon Onigiri at Cream Pan
#85. Beef Fat Fries at SideDoor
#84. Silken Tofu & Thousand Year Old Egg at Asian Tapas
#83. Cambodian Beef Jerky at Sophy's
#82. Com Tam at Com Tam Tran Quy Cap
#81. Chipotle-Piloncillo Goat Cheese at SOL Cocina
#80. Nem Nuong Cuon at Au Lac Restaurant
#79. Blackened Mushroom & Tofu Burger at Taco Loco
#78. Fried Veggie Fish Fillet at Dong Phuong Tofu
#77. Tofu Vegetable Salad at BCD Tofu House
#76. Che Ba Mau at Thach Che Hien Khanh
#75. Barracuda Sushi at Ohshima
#74. Whole Lamb with Kabsa at Olive Tree
#73. 5 a.m. Chitterlings at Tri-Village
#72. Spinach Empanadas at El Gaucho #2
#71. Croissants at Molinos Bakery
#70. Beso de Monja at El Rincón del Sabor
#69. Fatteh at Kareem's
#68. Korean Beef Rib Sandwich at Kaffa
#67. Rice Flour Pupusas at Pupusería San Sivar
#66. The Hash Browns at Pop's Cafe
#65. Seven Courses of Beef at Thien An
#64. Baby Back Ribs at Blake's Place
#63. Fish and Chips at The Chippy
#62. Roasted Beef Marrow Bones at Brasserie Pascal
#61. The Lunch Buffet at Tandoor Cuisine of India
#60. Eggs, Charcuterie and Bread at Uyen Thy Bistro
#59. Wang Mandoo at Myung In
#58. Gobi Paratha at Traditions
#57. Kibbeh at Zait & Zaatar
#56. Chicago Dog at Portillo's
#55. Persian Buffet at Irvine's Wholesome Choice
#54. Anything at night at Joe's Italian Ice
#53. Salteñas at Rollie's Bakery
#52. Iskender Kabob at Doner G
#51. Secret Beer-Battered Fish Burrito at the OG Taco Adobe
#50. Bun Rieu at Kim Huong
#49. Truffle Fries at Andrei's
#48. Monday Night Pizza Special at Pizza Shack
#47. Corn Dog at Disneyland's The Little Red Wagon
#46. Linguini with Clams at Franco's Pasta Cucina
#45. Chamoyada at Natural
#44. Meatloaf at Memphis
#43. Paletas at Delicias de México
#42. Omakase at Sushi Shibucho
#41. Odessa Sandwich at Moscow Deli
#40. Tacos de Rajas con Queso at Gabbi's Mexican Kitchen
#39. Crepes con Caramel at Anepalco's Cafe
#38. "Cobra" Chicken Sandwich at Memphis at the Santora.
#37. Beef Shawerma Plate at Sahara Falafel
#36. Flan at Taleo Mexican Grill
#35. Ahi Poke at Fish Camp
#34. Chao Chow Rice Noodle Soup at Trieu Chau
#33. Sweet Corn Soup at Raya At The Ritz Carlton
#32. Reuben Sandwich at Harry's Deli

Location Info

Baja Fish Tacos Inc.

23020 Lake Forest Dr, Laguna Hills, CA

Category: Restaurant

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