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“Welcome to LA”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Cha Cha Chicken

Cha Cha Chicken
Ranked #23 of 676 Restaurants in Santa Monica
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: Caribbean, Central American, Jamaican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Kids, Families with children, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Brunch, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighborhood: Santa Monica
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
125 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
“Welcome to LA”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

What can I say, I am now a huge fan.

A couple months back, I passed by Cha Cha on the way to another venue where a friend was celebrating a birthday. I had eaten just minutes before, and yet the smell out of this little hole in the wall caught my attention and had me craving food right then and there. The line was out and down the sidewalk, so I figured I'd come back.

Fast forward to today and I'm in the neighborhood with my girlfriend. We're hungry and so we search out parking and lucky enough find something.

What you need to know:

The line can get long. Wait in it. It's worth it.

The jerk chicken enchiladas were great. I wanted more out of the plantains but you can't get it all.

The spinach quesadilla was also pretty awesome.

It's BYOB. Enough said.

Cool spot, great vibe, and when you get done, you can walk along the beach for a while.

It's one of those places that remind you why you love LA!

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Patrick F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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292 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    122
    122
    29
    14
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
93 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Excellent Carib and Mex Food, Whether for Fast Food Takeout or Seated Dining”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2012

In each of my stays in Santa Monica over the past few years, I have always tried to eat dinner here at least once per stay, because the food is inexpensive, service is quick, the menu offers a wide range of Caribben and Mexican foods, food quantities are great, and the food is very tasty and well-prepared.

I hve sometimes ordered food to go, for lunch or dinner, and have sometimes chosen to sit (usually with a friend) in the outdoor seating area. This restaurant,particularly the outdoor seating area, also seems to be quite popular with a number of local residents, who seem to drag along friends and make it into a grand meal and a grand evening.

Overall, great restaurant, and great food!

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Vinny067
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Monica, California
Level Contributor
183 reviews
121 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Very disappointing - could be so much better.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 20, 2012 via mobile

This place should be good - good location, lots of passing trade, but the food was tasteless and just downright dull and predictable. We were hoping it was like Rudys BBQ in Texas, fast, tasty, as good to go as sit in. The to go order took ages, options were limited, not worth the wait.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank multitrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
30 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Coconut Fried Chicken...yes please!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2012

I've heard so many good things about this restaurant. Had the coconut fried chicken and it did not disappoint! I especially liked that it was not greasy or oily and loved the sauces. The place definitely has a Caribbean vibe and is one block from the beach. Can't wait to go back and try other items!

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank cimko2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Level Contributor
103 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Cheap eats a block from the ocean”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2012

I love the Food Network show "Best Thing I Ever Ate." So when we planned a visit to Santa Monica, I googled the show and Santa Monica. Turns out Iron Chef Michael Symon thinks Cha Cha Chicken is one of the best things he ever ate. I mentioned it to my son, who lives in Santa Monica, who it turns out has been going there for years.

It's a great find, just 1.5 blocks from the Pacific, at Pico and Ocean Blvd. (Just up the street from the luxury hotel, Shutters) The coconut chicken is the famous dish, and it delivered. Crispy on the outside and moist inside. It comes with two sauces, one spicy and one sweet, and some plaintains and slaw. We also ordered pepper shrimp (our least favorite, mostly because it had just 4 shrimp) and the daily special, mole poblano, which was essentially shredded jerk chicken covered in a mole sauce. It came with beans and rustic slices of fried potato. Excellent.

The bill for three big entrees was $42. Our son says the ropa vieja and jerk chicken enchiladas are also delicious, but he keeps coming back for the coconut chicken.

This tiki-style open-roofed restaurant is BYOB. Forewarned, we brought a bottle of chilled white wine. The six guys at the next table had 3 bottles of wine and a bottle of brandy. They were still there when we left. Party on, boys. If you forget, there's a liquor store 2 blocks away.

Definitely a nice change from the excellent but overpriced restaurant scene in Santa Monica.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank dakota1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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