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Baja Fish Tacos Shrimp Tacos

-----Original Message----- 
From: Karen 
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2014 1:25 PM
Subject: Baja fish tacos

I found wonderful shrimp tacos in Costa Mesa, CA. The restaurant is Baja 
Fish Tacos,
The restaurant is a chain in Orange County.   I have only visited their site 
on Bristol Ave in Costa Mesa. A humble shop next to Von's grocery store. 
They are always busy, and justifiably so. They make shrimp tacos that are amazing.
I wonder if you could translate their ingredients for me.
I have tried to duplicate the tacos, but so far...I am missing the magic.
Thanks for your efforts.

Hi Karen,

I had no success finding a recipe from the restaurant itself, or a copycat. "Baja Fish Tacos" is a chain, the flagship of which is located in Santa Ana. They have a website here: Baja Fish Tacos

Their menu describes the shrimp tacos like this: Sauteed shrimp cooked in garlic butter & white wine, served with cabbage relish, Baja sauce, cotija cheese, on a flour tortilla.

The key would presumably be in the spices used in sautéing the shrimp and in the relish & sauce ingredients. There are other Baja shrimp taco recipes on the web, but they may not taste exactly like the "Baja Fish Tacos" product. See:

Baja Shrimp Tacos

Baja Shrimp Tacos with Spicy Slaw

Best I can do at present. I'll post this.


Acme Market Spanish Bar Cake

-----Original Message----- 
From: maureen 
Sent: Friday, July 18, 2014 6:55 PM
Subject: Spanish bar cake

Hi Uncle Phaedrus, I love your site and have you in my 'FAVORITES"! We used 
to get a Spanish Bar Cake at the Acme. It had coconut and I think nuts in 
the icing. I was excited to find the Spanish Bar Cake from the A&P but it is 
not the same one. Thanks for all your help!

Hello Maureen,

I cannot find a Spanish Bar Cake recipe from Acme, only from A & P. I also cannot find a Spanish Bar Cake recipe of any sort that has coconut.

I found comments from several people that Acme sold a Spanish Bar Cake, but only one person mentioned it being any different from the A & P cake and they said the difference was that the Acme cake did not contain raisins: "Back in the late 40's my Mother used to buy a cake called 'Spanish Bar Cake' from the Acme Markets, however that cake did not have raisins in it." There was no mention of the Acme cake containing coconut.

The best Spanish Bar Cake recipes appear to be:

Willow Bird Baking

Just a Pinch


Tao Tao Chicken Salad

From: Julie 
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2014 8:10 PM
Subject: Chinese Chicken Salad from Tao Tao Restaurant

Dear Phaedrus,

Can you find, or advise me how to request, the wonderful Tao Tao Tossed Chicken Salad recipe from the 
Chinese Restaurant Tao Tao in Sunnyvale, California? We have lived in Oregon for last 15 years, and I 
still crave that salad that they make. 



Hi Julie,

Tao Tao’s menu is here: Tao Tao

The menu describes it like this:

Tossed Shredded Chicken Salad: Shredded chicken tossed with green onion, crushed almonds and cashew nuts, lettuce, spices, herbs, and rice vermicelli.

An actual recipe from the restaurant does not appear to be available and I know of no way to obtain it. However, this person has created a home version:

Tao Tao Chicken Salad

The only problem that I see with this home version is that the Tao Tao menu says the salad has green onion and crushed almonds, which this recipe does not. If the result of the recipe doesn’t seem quite right, you could try adding those ingredients.

I’ll post this in case a reader can help.


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