BYE BYE BAJA?

I am receiving reports that there is a “closed permanently” sign on the window at Baja Fresh 7127 Hollister Ave in Goleta. The Restaurant Guy lives right near Baja Fresh, and, being a huge taco fan, eats at this restaurant more frequently than any other. If the reports are true it looks like nearby eateries New Baja Grill, Pollo Fino and Chipotle will be getting more business.

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33 Responses to BYE BYE BAJA?

  1. Charlotte says:

    The food there has been consistently terrible ever since opening. Chicken has been under cooked several times (to the point of just avoiding the chicken all together!). The steak has always been severely over cooked and getting food to to go is out of the question, as there will be a problem of some kind and your stuck with it! The place has always been empty for a reason….it’s terrible! I’m sure that massive space w/ patio will be vacant, probably for at least a few years is my guess. It’s a dream location for a restaurant! The Crabby Lobster occupied that space in the 80′s, we went there a lot for terrific seafood, Happy Hour and fish market. Sigh…..

    • Mike says:

      Bring back The Crabby Lobster! Man, that place was great.

      • Glenn says:

        I remember that seafood place too. Baja was overall good, I liked the old Dos Manos menu better before they changed a few years ago. I did have two health issues there this year that you would not have expected from this kind of place, maybe they should have hired more diligent cooks.

  2. michael guthrie says:

    First reply is right on! Never understood how anyone could eat that food it was really bad.

  3. Milo says:

    Oh yuck John, with all the other Mexican cuisine available near you, you choose corporate slop? I’m guessing you do so because the place is empty and you get quick service? Can’t be because Baja Fresh tacos are more edible then say Baja Grill’s tacos? I’ve tried them all, and Baja Fresh is one step above frozen tacos purchased at Albertsons.

    • Glenn says:

      They made everything fresh there(hence the name) so I don’t get the frozen taco reference. They have always had people in there too when I went, the size of the place makes it seem like less people. With an open salsa and soda bar and inside and out seating it was nice, I think they just went downhill with the new menu and what I’ve seen this year some quality problems, or maybe it was just the rent, I heard they upped it. New Baja Grill does not do it for me as much anymore also. There is always a Cal Taco tacquito!

    • John Dickson says:

      I’m easy to please :)

  4. Scott says:

    Yuck. So many better options. This is capitalism at its best.

  5. Whirldly says:

    John, please try Los Tarascos, near Zodos. Amazing tacos, many different choices each with a truely delicious unique flavor.

  6. mike says:

    If the goal is fast, good, cheap tacos, try across the freeway at La Chapala Market. That’s my go-to place for a quick, inexpensive bite for a lunch break.

  7. sbdude says:

    With the Baja Fresh in La Cumbre Plaza (which was always busy) out for a Chipotle, I would guess the franchise owner may be packing up and selling out (pretty sure they owned both, as I saw employees of both places at both stores). I’ve no idea what would go in there, since there’s already a Chipotle down the street on Storke, but I’m hoping for something good. I’ll leave it up to John’s Crystal Ball, or broken-down rumor machine.

  8. Charlotte says:

    Unfortunately that mall is a bit of a ghost town! We lost Thrifty’s, the post office, the medical clinic, a great little bar called The Hideout, the coffee place, all gone! Now that mall just offers the DMV, the Army has a recruitment center, Albertsons for the students, an always empty appliance store and the worst food I think I’ve ever eaten….some Hawaiian joint. Soooo I imagine that Baja space will lay dormant for quite sometime! Seeing as most of the mall is empty and the stores that are open are rather depressing. I hope I’m wrong and something fabulous opens up, to help breathe some life into that cute little mall that time forgot.

    • Amanda says:

      I agree that the Hawaiian place is gross- their meat is very fatty, and they have huge servings that make me feel like a cow if I get anything there. I only tried it once because my washer & dryers were broken so I had to use the ghetto laundromat next to it. Nope, nope, nope all around.

    • sbdude says:

      I think there’s a still a Quizno’s in there. The Hawaiian place is called L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, and I agree. It’s disgusting.

  9. Kaylee says:

    1. I too live nearby and eat there at least once a week. 2. The place is NOT “always empty”, that is a flat out lie. There are always people there and it is sometimes crowded. 3. My food has always been great, cooked appropriately, plentiful, flavorful. I usually get shrimp tacos, sometimes taquitos, last week chicken tacos, sometimes a burrito. 4. The service is good and fast. The staff is always cleaning. I receive coupons by email and use them so it is a bargain too. 5. Chipotle is nearby but they don’t have seafood or white meat chicken, or half the variety of items. Lastly I am tired of all the restaurant snobs. John reports on restaurant activity; he is not a critic and doesn’t pretend to be one. There is nothing wrong with eating at a chain restaurant. To each their own, live and let live. I think all of you elitist people are insecure and need to impress others.

    • Jen C. says:

      Perfectly said Kaylee! I agree with every word. I’m sad to see it go, it was my go to place during the week when I needed too grab something quick for lunch and the the calorie count wasn’t too bad for some chicken tacos. It was one of the better choices for fast food.

    • SL says:

      You won’t eat chicken unless it is clearly advertised as all white meat?! That’s racist!

  10. SBtaste says:

    My best Mexican restaurants are those that use basic ingredients and taste good at reasonable prices like Lilly’s, el sitio, … etc and compare well aganist any chain. I have nothing against a chain, as long as they crank Good Consistent Food with dependable ingredients. Unfortunately, I have also been a victim of undercooked chicken at B.F.on several occasions and this is just unacceptable; as I’m unwilling to take one for the team for salmonella poisoning. I work close to B.F.; so have been there during crowded times and under weak days with little traffic. In 3 out 6 times that I went to B.F., the uncooked chicken issue came up…

  11. N says:

    I like L&L. Hawaiian plate lunches. Lots of meat and rice in big portions. I was happy when they opened because the closest used to be in LA. Not health food, but I like it, and the chicken’s tender.

  12. Krista and Tony says:

    We live across the freeway but still ate at Baja Fresh numerous times. Never experienced any undercooked chicken and generally liked the place for good quick food. We love Elsitio right down the street for really authentic fare but also like the new Rudy’s on Calle Real.

  13. Glenn says:

    Went by and its definitely closed. Sign off the top too.

  14. Glenn says:

    Even though people badmouth Chipolte for various reasons it seems like the one in Goleta and La Cumbre have a line almost out the door whenever I go… It probably put a good dent in Baja Fresh’s business but I am guessing it was a raise rent problem that made them leave.

  15. iheartmykids says:

    That would be a fabulous location for a Lili’s Tacos!

  16. Lily says:

    This town doesn’t need another Mexican or American joint. It needs more variety. Korean, Lebanese, Indian, Filipino, Spanish, the list is long. I have lived in a 120k people college town before and it had far more options when it comes to ethnic cuisine. People here are very conservative when it comes to food and as a result most of the new restaurants serve burger, pizza, and Mexican.

  17. Charlotte says:

    Kaylee, I didn’t mean to send you over the edge with my negative post on Baja… However.. It is not a flat out lie that that are a dead in th water restaurant that serves improperly cooked meat. Whenever I have been by the place (usually 4 times a week, it is empty). Perhaps it only has a lunch crowd that I have not encountered. Be that as or may…..your BFF is out of business for a reason. Before you hang yourself, I’d check out Chipotle nearby…. You’ll probably fall in love all over again!

  18. Axe says:

    Both former Baja Fresh locations lost their leases. The closest one now is in Ventura.

  19. VT says:

    L&L is DA KINE you dumb haoles! Mo betta plate lunch dan Kahuna even. What da reason you no like? We go grind brah!

  20. Glenn says:

    I have to give a shoutout to L&L who catered(and I believe donated) for a Hawaiian fundraiser for a teacher that needed help with medical bills for a stroke over the weekend in Buellton. Food was tasty too.

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