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Local with Lisa: Baja Taqueria

February 15, 2024

I'm lisa!

A Piedmont native, Emmy award winning television journalist turned home matchmaker, part time radio anchor, UCLA graduate, wife and mother of 3. 


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Baja Taqueria has been a fixture on Piedmont Avenue since 1992.  Jeff Mogalian is the owner and executive chef.

Lisa:  Baja Taqueria must be one of the longest-standing restaurants on Piedmont Avenue!

Jeff:  It seems like it at least.  We’re either number one or number two on the avenue for legacy restaurants.

Lisa:  Tell me the backstory of how you ended up opening this Baja Taqueria.

Jeff:  Well, I had a real job at one point, I was a dentist and midway through my career, I said, you know what?  I also want to have a restaurant.

Lisa:  What do you think has led to your success?

Jeff:  The food is unique.  It’s coastal Mexican seafood and no one else is really doing that.

Lisa:  It seems like you have a lot of loyal customers at Baja.  Every time I come here, my uncle is here eating a burrito.  It seems like he is not your only loyal customer, though, who is always probably coming here.

Jeff:  We have generations of loyal families that are coming to us and Kaiser down the street is a big customer of ours.  The docs come here, the nurses come here, and then we have people who eat six days a week here.

Lisa:  And your employees, a lot of them have been here, it seems like, from the beginning.

Jeff:  My manager has been with us 28 years since we opened and several of my staff have been here between 15 and 20 years.

Lisa:  So you’ve combined music with your restaurant.  Tell me about what happens here on Saturday nights.

Jeff:  Since we opened, for 32 years now, we’ve had a bluegrass jam.  It used to be the famous Monday Night Bluegrass Jam, but we changed it to Saturday nights now. it’s great and it’s free.

Lisa:  So how has business been? Post-pandemic?

Jeff:  We’re coming back to where we were pre-pandemic.  It’s been a rough road for a lot of people.

Lisa:  So if someone’s new to the area and for some reason they have never come to eat here, what should they get?

Jeff:  A couple of things.  We’re most famous for our fish tacos.  We’ve won awards for those. We also won an award for our veggie burrito, the Holy Moly, which is a plantain burrito.  Then we had a newer dish, a family dish from our manager, on the menu.  Birria is a 4-hour slow-cooked fall off-the-bone beef that gets put into organic tortillas with some cheese and a little cilantro and onion.  It’s called a Quesabirria, and they are amazing.

Lisa:  Great recommendations, Jeff. 

Jeff: Thanks for talking to me. 


Who should I interview next for Local with Lisa? If you have a suggestion I’d like to hear it! Or if you’d like to talk about real estate and want to know your home’s current market value, I’m happy to provide you a complimentary assessment. 

Insights, stories and interviews about homeownership and living in the East Bay From a Piedmont native, Emmy award-winning television journalist-turned-home matchmaker, part-time radio anchor, UCLA graduate, wife and mother of 3.

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I'm Lisa, your new Realtor & friend.

My passion is meeting new people, getting to know them and learning their stories. Before I jumped into the world of real estate, I spent nearly 15 years in front of the camera anchoring and reporting the news. The mix of being a Bay Area native, Emmy-winning reporter and now Realtor gives me a deep understanding of the market and has made me an excellent listener and communicator.

I consider it an honor to work with you and guide you during one of the more important times in your life.

hey there!

Lisa Chan Carnazzo

Lisa is a San Francisco Bay Area Realtor with The Grubb Co.


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