|Name:||La Bufadora Baja Grill|
|Location:||497 E Alessandro Boulevard Ste B
Riverside, CA 92508
|Hours:||Sun – Thurs: 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Fri – Sat: 9:00 a.m.– 10:00 p.m.
|Category:||Mexican, Seafood, Fast Food|
|Other amenities:||Good for kids, Caters, Casual Attire, Beer and wine|
Thank goodness I recently found out that I am no longer allergic to crab because I went to town on the ceviche.
La Bufadora Baja Grill is an authentic Mexican restaurant located ten minutes from UCR that prides itself on its seafood menu. If you are looking for quick and friendly service and a menu that can satisfy both meat lovers and pescatarians alike, La Bufadora is the ideal place.
Walking into the restaurant, my eyes were immediately captivated by the open grill, safely protected by a large transparent glass window, through which I could see the cooks hard at work. This bridges the gap between the cooks and guests, making La Bufadora a more welcoming place. Once I found my place in line, I was met with friendly service from the cashier, who coincidentally attends UCR herself. After discussing the recommended options, I placed my order and found an open table to sit at.
The table sizes were diverse, some seating two to four people and others being tall tables with the capability of seating six people. I sat at one of the tall tables, filling my spot on a throne and prepared to feast. I soon had to leave my table shortly after sitting down, however, to pick up my order after waiting for only about five minutes.
I started with their fish tacos complete with cabbage, roma tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, onions and battered, deep-fried fish, which was even longer than the corn tortillas it resided in. After taking a bite, I noticed how much the sour cream overpowered the taco. The battered fish added to the texture, but the overall sweetness provided by the tomatoes took away from the expectation of eating the type of strongly flavored fish taco that I have come to know and love.
Moving on from the fish tacos, I tried out their shrimp burrito. Jampacked with rice, beans, fried shrimp, guacamole, sour cream and tomatoes, I found myself in a similar situation as the tacos before me. The burrito was a little too sweet leaving much to be desired.
The torta I ate afterward was a saving grace. The size of the torta itself was a little small in comparison to the usual massive torta shells that are street tortas, but it was well-balanced with the option of separating it into two dishes by half pieces. The first half consisted of guacamole, tomato, and fried fish. The second half was something similar to a Munchie Meal from Jack in the Box but twice as good, being filled with nacho cheese, fried fish, tomato and sour cream and immediately seizing my taste buds with cheesy delight.
What really gripped me was La Bufadora’s crab ceviche. Thank goodness I recently found out that I am no longer allergic to crab because I went to town on the ceviche. The tomatoes, cilantro, onion, crab, cucumbers and lemon all danced together to make for the citrusy, cajun dish I have come to love. Completing this ceviche meal, I grubbed on their custard-filled churros (churro rellenos), which I was initially unsure of what to expect from since it was exclusive to La Bufadora, and was met with a warm explosion of custard flavor that instantly made me feel guilty for eating something so delicious and full of calories.
Upon leaving the restaurant, the manager approached me with a reward card that comes loaded with $5 and doubles after registering it online. After coming in for 10 meals, another $10 will be loaded on the card, which means more ceviche for me!
Overall, the restaurant was very inviting, with clean tables, an open salsa bar and friendly service. However, the food left much to be desired for when it came to taste. With it being a Mexican restaurant, I was expecting a burst of savory flavor but instead found a consistent mild and sweet flavor throughout the dishes. Though, if you are searching for a restaurant with consistent seafood, La Bufadora is a great option to try.
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