Roaches and Rodents Shut Down Baja Cantina

Baja Cantina at 201 NW 1st Ave in Boca Raton; Image by Google
Baja Cantina at 201 NW 1st Ave in Boca Raton; Image by Google

We used to like this place but …
Baja Cantina in East Boca was closed by inspectors two days in a row, on December 21st and 22nd, due to roaches and rodents.
On the 21st inspectors found 32 total violations including 9 marked high priority. The worst of it:

  • Roach activity present as evidenced by live roaches found. 21 live roaches under handwash sink at bar.
  • Rodent activity present as evidenced by rodent droppings found. Observed approximately 64 fresh rodent droppings on the bottom shelving of the prep table where rice and beans containers are stored in the rear prep area, 8 fresh droppings on top of containers of rice and beans in rear prep area, 16 dry rodent droppings on top of dishmachine, 10 fresh rodent dropping in container with onions in rear prep area, 28 dry and 39 fresh rodent droppings in coffee filter storage in front of walkin cooler, 100 dry and 100 fresh rodent droppings in water heater room, 15 dry rodent droppings in ice machine room, 30 fresh and 50 dry rodent droppings in storage area by liquor room, 10 fresh and 30 dry rodent droppings by wait station, 10 fresh rodent droppings on shelving where fajita wood boards are stored and 7 fresh rodent droppings in rolled utensils in bar area. **Warning**
  • Rodent rub marks present along walls/ceilings. Near hole with soda lines by walkin cooler **Warning**

It initially looked good to reopen during the callback inspection on the 22nd with only a few violations, but then:

At time of the callback on 12/22/15, no evidence of droppings, however a rodent ran through the gap of the back door at time of the callback.

They were able to reopen later the same day with only one minor violation.
It was a 3-day week for inspectors so there were fewer inspections overall.
Another place in East Boca that we like (and still like) is Taverna Kyma. Their inspection on the 21st had 22 violations including 4 marked high priority.

  • Cooked poultry not reaching a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 seconds….chicken . Cooked again 167° **Corrected On-Site**
  • Dishmachine chlorine sanitizer not at proper minimum strength. Discontinue use of dishmachine for sanitizing and set up manual sanitization until dishmachine is repaired and sanitizing properly….00ppm. Changed sanitize bucket . **Corrected On-Site**
  • Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit…cooked spinach , roasted pepper 53° in reach in drawer below grill in cook line less than an hour. Removed food to another acceptable cooler . **Corrective Action Taken** **Repeat Violation**
  • Raw animal food not properly separated from ready-to-eat food….raw tilapia top of chicken contacting each other in reach in cooler in kitchen. **Corrected On-Site**

Taverna Kyma has had some other not-great inspections in the past, including problems with food temperatures and storage. Their last inspection in June was perfect. But the April one had 15 violations, and the one before that in August of 2014 had 17 violations. We’d like to see them do better on inspections but otherwise it is a great place to eat.
The other noticeably bad inspection was for Chaiyo Thai Bistro on Military Trail in Delray Beach, with 26 violations including 5 marked high priority involving hand washing, food temperatures and food storage.
On the good news side of things, there were no perfect inspections. Subway in Lakeside Centre (Glades near Boca Rio) had 4 minor violations, which is about the best of it.
Other notables this week include:

  • China Buffet & Grill on Hillsboro in Deerfield Beach, with 19 violations including 4 high priority
  • Mario’s Osteria at 1400 Glades Road (13 violations, 3 high priority)
  • Brewzzi at 2222 Glades (9, 2)
  • J Alexander at 1400 Glades (7, 2)
  • Mama’s Pizza & Pasta at Kimberly and Hampton, with 6 violations including 1 high priority on a callback from last week’s 12 violations.

Our spreadsheet for this week is below.
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Author: Warren Redlich

Warren Redlich is a real estate agent and an attorney. He focuses on selling homes in West Boca Raton. Call or text Warren at 561-536-3645. Warren is also a tech YouTuber covering Tesla, SpaceX and more. His YouTube channel is and he sells Elon Musk related t-shirts and other merchadise at Warren also publishes videos about politics at