Welcome To Baja Fresh Mexican GrillMike Schwimmer and I were on a tear around the district to find some excellent burritos. That quest led us, well, outside the district.
Owned by Wendy's International, Baja Fresh is huge, with 300 restaurants in 28 states as of May, 2005. Of these, about half are franchised (Yahoo! Finance). Update: Wendy's sold Baja Fresh in late 2006 to a private investment group. Details here. That same investment group, operating under the name Fresh Enterprises, later bought La Salsa.
My biggest complaint about Baja is their pre-fabricated menu items. See, you're not encouraged to go up and order a burrito and spec out its contents. They want you to get the Ultimo, the Fajita Burrito, the Baja or something like that, kind of like Taco Bell.Baja Fresh.
Sunday, May 22, 2005 by Jonah.
On the Baja Fresh Salsa Bar:
I will admit that I didn't rush back to Baja Fresh after my first visit. Why? I had not yet engaged in salsa-mixing. One day I was extremely hungry and ordered a side of chips and salsa as an appetizer. It came with a 1-cup container of the mild salsa. Having a palate the prefers more capsaicin, I decided this would not do. I emptied it into the trash (my apologies to whatever staff member had bag-removal duties that day)and headed back to the salsa bar.
Faced with salsa choices of mild (very dark salsa with chunks of tomatoes and cilantro), salsa verde (medium) version, and a hotter red salsa, I opted for a combo of the medium and the hot. To it I added cilantro and pico and I also put some jalapenos in my Baja Burrito. Since then I have tried many combos of salsa and find it to truly taste different each time. To me, the salsa bar is what makes Baja Fresh great...
Don't believe me? Try it!
A downside for those seeking the true gestalt burrito experiece, the salsa must be reapplied between bites.
Posted by: Jenn at July 28, 2005 11:22 AM
Hi, Thankyou for you nice comments. I am a manager at a baja in chicago Il. My suggestion to you is to try a burrito ultimo enchilado style it will knock your socks off. If you really like guacamole ask us to add it to your burrito our menu is totally modify-able. But keep up your good work and come back soon our doors are always open. Oh yea that is a beutiful picture of the tostada.
Posted by: Aaron Lenahan at December 10, 2005 02:36 PM
I remember my first visit to Baja Fresh. I was so glad to find them. The chicken, beef and mahi mahi were excellent. It was packed with lines out the door. Everything was wonderful for a long time and I could rely on Baja Fresh to not let me down on every visit. Then they were bought by Wendy's.
It never was the same again.
Posted by: Sandra at January 26, 2006 07:06 PM
What was so different about baja since they were bought by wendy? I'm a manager @ the Encino, CA restaurant. I invite you to our restaurant to see and feel how we do it here in cali.
And please let me know about your visit. Thanks.
Posted by: howard at February 26, 2006 01:39 AM
Burrito Ultimo is the best. Trust me, you want to try this burrito. Other items at baja fresh are not that great
Posted by: powerful directory at August 23, 2006 03:59 PM
My biggest complaint is that the salsa on the salsa bar isn't very flavorful. I've never thought of mixing it before...I guess that makes me weak sauce.
Posted by: kevin r. at August 29, 2006 04:41 PM
i had Baja Fresh in Beverly Hills, Cali and it was amazing..i mean fresh, delicious, wonderful..i even brought back some on the pane back home to new york.. the same day..im traveling to chicago for the holidays and i just found out about the one in Chicago and i pray it'll be as good as i had before..i wish they had one in nyc..if i had money i would by a franchise and stick it in manhattan!!!
Posted by: stacey o at December 7, 2006 01:18 PM
Complaint: April 4th, 2008 at the Baja Fresh Mexican Grill at 5757 Wilshire Blvd., the general manager should know that his night-time worker, Sara, doesn't have any manners or etiquette and is not good for closing the business one hour and half earlier outside. Sara decided to start slamming those plastic dark green chairs one by one. I told her that it was annoying; she continued. Finally I stood up from my food to tell the so-called manager, either Hector or Gustavo, or Patricio Palacios, that Sara was slamming the chairs while I ate way too loudly, on purpose. Sara took my order. I asked "when do you close?" Sara said "10pm." Then at 8:37pm, Sara starts shutting down the front area of the store outside by stacking the chairs. Was she in a hurry to get home? It was not cold outside either. Sara made my meal horrible with her innate ignorance and auditory deafness with her slamming a good 60 plastic chairs. I complained to her again; she made the slamming noise louder. Was she having her period? Is she a cocky Leo masculine sign? Is she uneducated? Obviously. She'd be better off as a prostitute in Las Vegas. She should be fired from her job too. These comments represent the nice side of me. So I do understand Sara hasn't the guts to quit and wants to do things to get fired. If she gets her act together, maybe she can join the LAPD.
Posted by: doesn't matter at April 5, 2008 12:43 AM
Also, if I owned Baja Fresh, I wouldn't want my workers, like Sara, at 5757 Wilshire Blvd. to start stacking the 60 outside chairs and put them in front of the Baja Fresh clear-window sign that says "Open until 10pm." Sara starting stacking those 60 chairs at 8:37pm and hiding the "Open until 10pm" sign on purpose so there would be less people and less work for her. I don't think Sara or the other workers cared whatsoever. If you owned Baja Fresh, wouldn't you want the door open until 10pm? Wouldn't you want the most business you could get? Wouldn't you clearly make it look "Open" and even have a neon sign that stated that? Wouldn't you hire people that would happily stay working until 12am if necessary to net the most money in profits and be open honestly until 10pm? I would.
Posted by: in addition from doesn't matter at April 5, 2008 01:35 AM
Baja Fresh in Rockville Md is a Disgrace!
Just go to Qdoba or Chipotle if you want a quality burrito served in a reasonable amount of time. I went here this evening for the last time as I had to wait 30 minutes for 3 burritos in a nearly empty restaurant. How this place stays in business is beyond me - now even the portions are meager. They're obviously trying to cut corners to save money but they're just driving away the few suckers...+READ Just go to Qdoba or Chipotle if you want a quality burrito served in a reasonable amount of time. I went here this evening for the last time as I had to wait 30 minutes for 3 burritos in a nearly empty restaurant. How this place stays in business is beyond me - now even the portions are meager. They're obviously trying to cut corners to save money but they're just driving away the few suckers willing to go here anymore. Don't waste your time! The service is horrible, the food is mediocre at best, normally served cold, now the portions are meager, they've even had the nerve to raise their prices so they're more expensive then Chipotle or Qdoba. Just save yourself the aggravation and avoid this hell hole
Posted by: rockvillefoodie2 at March 11, 2010 09:40 PM