Cachanilla is also a plant...
Cachanilla is also a plant...

Good Shrimp/Fish Tacos, False Advertising at Baja Cachanilla

I've always enjoyed the shrimp and fish tacos at Baja Cachanilla in SanTana--each juicy, plump, on handmade tortillas and topped with one of the thicker, sweeter fish taco creams you'll find. It's better than Baja Fresh just a couple of blocks down Bristol, and Wahoo's a couple of blocks down further.

But I doubt I'll ever review this restaurant for This Hole-in-the-Wall Life, because its name pisses me off.

"Cachanilla" is a nickname for someone from Mexicali, and there are thousands of them living in Orange County. Besides being a border outpost, it's best known for its Chinatown, among the largest in Latin America and one that's nearly a century old. As a result,


cuisine sneaks in Chinese influences into its Mexican foodand vice versa, and I know a couple of Chinese restaurants owned by Mexicalians. Wonder why Mexicans love Chinese food? Read my


column--but honestly, Mexicali cuisine is wonderful.

But Baja Cachanilla offers no such regional specialties, other than its saltier-than-usual table salsa, recipient of a couple drops of soy sauce. The tacos, of course, are more common in the coastal regions of Baja California, not its desert. And the only distinctive dish on the menu--chilorio, a type of pork fried in chile--is from the state of Sinaloa and no longer offered. Sigh...

Baja Cachanilla, 1431 W. Warner Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 754-1990. Good shrimp tacos, though!


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