Cha Cha Cha (revisit)
When Jenn suggested that we have dinner at Cha Cha Cha, I was like “OMG! Are you effing kidding me?!?!? I’ve been dying to go there for years!” Do I need to remind you? This is where Brian Earl Spilner (aka Brian O’Conner) takes Mia Toretto on a date in The Fast and the Furious.
The decor is extremely lively and colorful (as you will see in some of the pictures).
Its contemporary Caribbean cuisine is something to try at least once. Although, I must warn you, it can be pretty expensive. The total bill with gratuity was about $160 for the four of us, but I guess we did order a ton of food…
Let’s start off with the drinks… Lisa1 and Jenn both ordered the Peach Martinis ($8 each). They must have been good because Jenn eventually ordered another one. Lisa2 had the Watermelon Martini ($8) and I had the Fruit Punch ($2.75), which was a little too sour for my tastes.
Next up… tapas! We tried the Banana Boats ($6.75), which are plantain boats filled with ground beef and vegetables served with pina salsa. I thought the pina salsa was fresh, fruity, and fabulous!
Lisa1 had the Caymen Paella ($18.95) - salmon, chicken, shrimp, mango, and pineapple over a tomato-coco rice. I tried some of this and it was pretty good. Lots of big chunks of salmon and chicken and jumbo shrimp. The coconut rice was interesting and tasty.
Instead of ordering an entree, Jenn went with a few more tapas… Guava Quesadilla ($5.25). I also tried this and didn’t like it. I believe it was a guava spread between the tortillas and it was topped with goat cheese. The taste was just too weird for me. She also had Yam Mashers ($2.75), which is basically a puree of yams. The last thing that she ordered was the Jardin Tropical ($5.75) - baby mixed greens tossed with plantain chips and a pineapple vinaigrette.
Lisa2 ate the Paella Valenciana ($18.50) - made with fresh shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, and fish. It sure did smell good! And with the lemon, I’m sure it probably tasted good, too!
Ahh, now me! I ordered the Mango Chicken ($15.25). I had an enormous piece of boneless chicken breast served with Brazilian spices and fresh mango! It came with a side of rice and beans. Too many beans, if you ask me. I would have preferred more rice.
Everything came in enormous portions, so as if we had room for dessert! But, by some miracle… surprise, surprise… we made room! Not just for one… not just for two… but for three desserts! In our defense, we were sharing, so it’s not like each of us even had a whole dessert. So, here we go! Bread Pudding ($6) shouldn’t even be considered as a dessert, if you ask me. It’s not sweet enough. The Mango Cheesecake ($5.50) was pretty good. I could taste the mango flavor throughout the cheesecake. The Pina Colada Creme Brulee ($6) was ok. I liked the crunchy top. It did have little pieces of pineapple, but the rest of it was nothing extraordinary. The best creme brulee that I’ve ever had was at an Italian ristorante in Del Mar.
This restaurant is one of my new favorites! The atmosphere was perfect for having a great time with your friends! It’s not at all quiet or stuffy. It’s all about having FUN! And who knows… maybe you’ll even drive off with a better car! That’s right, we valet parked Lisa2’s car and the valet guy came back with a Lexus! He was looking at us and I said, “I think he thinks that Lexus is yours.” But, Lisa2 foolishly told him that it wasn’t her car. He asked what she was driving and she replied, “A long stretch Camry. Limited edition.” Well, it seemed funny at the time…
Maybe it would have been more fitting for her to tell him that she lives her life a quarter mile at a time…
Cha Cha Cha
7953 Santa Monica Blvd