* Click here for rating key
Baja Bean Co. Restaurant Review: Resembling an underground grotto, this below-street-level restaurant tries to be all things to all people: a pool hall, beer parlor, college kids’ hangout, and eatery for neighborhood folk. Very much a casual place, a Mexi-Cali man cave if you will (there’s even a video game arcade), the BBC swears its chips, salsa and guacamole are freshly made, and that may be so. But we were mystified by the menu, which has all the earmarks of California funkiness, but somehow falls short of the mark. No doubt the focus skews more to the fun --- karaoke, anyone? --- than the food: “7 layers plus” chorizo dip, grande nachos, chimichangas, and an array of quesadillas. Cool down from some smokin’ flautas with banana pudding. For those who don’t want bites that hit below the belt, there are North-of-the-Border burgers. Perhaps the trick is to come for one of the many tequilas (there are more than two dozen), margaritas or chilled beers and simply soak in the atmosphere. In other words, we vote for poker chips over tortilla chips. Looking for the entrance? It’s down behind the front main entrance stairway. Note that the improved patio is a blast. Other locations.