Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen Happy Hour Spices Up OC’s Bedroom Community

21 Aug

Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen Happy Hour Spices Up OC’s Bedroom Community

Southern California is awash in Latin Cuisine; although, I can only recommend a  handful of  high-end Latin restaurants. One of my new favorite high-end Latin restaurants is Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen. It is located in downtown Brea and they definitely bring a little spice to the bedroom community. What I liked most about this restaurant is that they use high-quality ingredients and their chef’s execute sophisticated dishes. 

Cha Cha's Exterior Day Photo Cropped

 

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Cha Cha’s Happy Hour 

I recently attended a meet and greet to try out items on their happy hours menu, which was voted by OC Register as one of the best happy hours in Orange County.  Happy Hour runs  all day, Sunday – Thrusday.   Friday and Saturday happy hours runs from 11:30am – 7:00pm. Happy hour available only in the lounge. Below are my favorite items at Cha Cha’s Happy Hour menu. 

Fresh Guacamole

It is easy to make standard guacamole, but making great guacamole is an art. I like their Fresh Guacamole, as it had the right blend of soft Haas avocados, fresh lime juice and just a touch of Serrano chile. It comes with chips and two types of salsa, fire roasted tomato and tomatillo salsas. 7.95 / HH 5.95 

Cha Cha's Latin Kitchen gaucemole

Shrimp Ceviche

Their Shrimp Ceviche is on the sweeter side of the ceviche spectrum, as it is made with fresh orange and lime juices. The shrimp is swimming in the juice mixtures along with Serrano chile, red onion, and Haas avocado. Even though they use Serrano chile, the dish is not spicy. If you like it hot, just let them know. Normal Price $11.95 / Happy Hour $8.95 .

Cha Cha's Latin Kitchen Ceviche

Soft Tacos

I really liked their soft tacos, all made with organic corn tortillas, epazote black beans and salsa rice. They feature six different types of tacos which can be ordered, mix and match in quantities of 3 or 6. My favorite as the Carnitas with grilled pineapple and a chipotle salsa. My second favorite was the mahi-mahi taco with chipotle cabbage and pico de gallo. I am a big fish taco fan and I like chipotle, so double win! The other tacos were all very good. Other tacos on the menu included.   3 – Tacos 13.95 6 – Tacos 24.95

• Shrimp mango habanero salsa, chipotle cabbage

• Chicken fresh tomatillo salsa, lime cabbage

• Carne Asada home-made roasted guajillo salsa

• Portobello organic greens, cotija cheese

cha chas4

Cha Cha Fries

Perhaps one of the best dishes that I was surprised that I liked so much was their Cha Cha Fries, house made thick cut and fried thick with Yukon potatoes. The crispy papas are tossed with fresh garlic and herbs and tossed with chipotle aioli. I had a similar dish in Barcelona, and it was pretty darn close. Normal Price $6.95 / Happy Hour $4.95

Cha Cha's Latin Kitchen Fries

Manila Clams

Another nice surprise was their Manila Clams, which were sautéed with garlic, Spanish chorizo, fresh with fresh garlic and herbs, herbs, white wine, butter and smoked chipotle aioli. I love clams and chorizo, so I was in heaven for this. They cooked and seasoned the clams perfectly. Normal Price $9.95 / Happy Hour $7.95

Cha Cha's Latin Kitchen Tacos 1

“Wood-Fired” Queso Fundido

“Wood-Fired” Queso Fundido  is made with traditional “cazuela” baked cheeses  You have a choice of adding chorizo or Portabello mushrooms;  ordering the chorizo is a must for flavor. This was my favorite dish of the entire menu. It was cheesy and overwhelmingly decadent. I was full, but I could not stop eating it.Normal Price $7.95 / Happy Hour $5.95

cha chas5

 

Crisp Calamari

The Crisp Calamari was lightly coated in a cornmeal and infused with spices. When they come out of the frier they are golden brown and perfect with the lime-cilantro aioli. Normal Price $9.95 / Happy Hour $7.95

Cha Cha's Latin Kitchen calamari

 

Nachos Cha Cha’s

Normally when I order nachos I expect a hot mess of soggy chips and uneven application of cheese and topping. Often there is the 1% guy at the table who gets all the cheese and meat, while I am stuck with the baren side with just chi -Crisp tortillas topped with epazote black beans, melted Mexican cheeses served with pico de gallo, jalapeno-escabeche, and sour cream. Normal Price $8.95 / Happy Hour $6.95

Cha Cha's Latin Kitchen Nachos

Cocktails

What I really liked about Cha Cha’s cocktails is their use of fresh fruits and premium alchools. Each cocktail was perfect for sitting on the patio on a hot summer day. As a bonus, I received extra anti-oxidants and vitamins ;). My favorite cocktail was the Fresh Watermellon Margarita, it was cool and refreshing. It is made with El Jimador 100% pure tequila, fresh watermelon, hibiscus juice, fresh lime and agave nectar. During their happy hour, they have cocktails starting at $5 and special discounts on their premium cocktails. 

cha chas6

The Mango-Habanero Margarita was the most unique margarita and my second favorite. The flavor of this cocktail was sweet, tangy and had spicy notes. It is made with Pueblo Viejo, 100% blue agave, mango, fresh lime juice, habanero chili infusion. The classic Cha Cha’s Margarita was also delicious. It is made with Siete Leguas 100% blue agave, elder flower liqueur, fresh lime, ruby red grape fruit juice. 

My Final Thoughts

Cha Cha's Latin Kitchen flautasCha Cha’s Latin Kitchen did a great job with their cocktails and happy hour menu and it is easy to see why they won best happy hour and margarita by the OC Register. If you are in the Brea area, consider yourself very lucky for having a high caliber Latin restaurant like Cha Cha’s in your neighborhood. I liked it so much, I am willing to drive 45 minutes to Brea to have their margarita and that yummy fundido.

Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen Website

Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen Happy Hour Menu

Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen Full Menu

Cha Cha's Latin Kitchen on Urbanspoon
 

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Tom Holmberg

Food Blogger / Founder at Tom's Foodie Blog
Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.

24 Responses to “Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen Happy Hour Spices Up OC’s Bedroom Community”

  1. Rob August 22, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    All my favorites except the quac, i am highly allergic.. The shrimp and the tacos, oh man…

  2. Kat August 22, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    You had me at guacamole! It all looks awesome. I do miss the food in SO Cal.

  3. tina August 22, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    These look amazing. I’m hungry now. Good thing the Tamale Lady just walked into the shop and I purchased a dozen fresh and hot from her!
    tina recently posted…A Little DifferentMy Profile

  4. Savannah-Lin Dofa August 22, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    Crisp Calamari… :) yummy!.. My half loves Ceviche.. I have not tried it yet but it looks good!.. Everything look so good!

  5. Meli August 22, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    I love really good Mexican food. Looks as though this place has just what I’d like!!

  6. Vene' August 22, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    Once again Tom, you have made my day with your food report!! I am planning a trip to Southern Cal! ;)

  7. Irene S. August 22, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    Portabella organic greens and cotija cheese – oh my that would be the one I would pick. Although I do not know what cotija cheese is – I love all cheeses!

  8. Don Purdum August 22, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    The calamari looks out of this world. Now that we are back on the east coast, I’m looking forward to some fresh seafood!!!!
    Don Purdum recently posted…Jon Bon Jovi Accepts Being Poster Boy for Happily Married MenMy Profile

  9. Casey Gardner August 22, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    I like the Cha Cha nachos. All looks great with your writing and pictures!

  10. Jim striegel August 22, 2013 at 10:26 pm #

    I’m a huge calamari fan and that looks nice and light. Thank you for sharing!

  11. Deborah August 22, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

    I love good guacamole and chips and salsa. To me, it’s even better than the meal itself. Looks like they have a good selection of items and make use of seafood well too.

  12. Jeff Brand August 22, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    It all looks amazing, but I would like to try the Tacos. They look delicious!

  13. Allen Hall August 22, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

    the gucamole looks yummy

  14. Anita Breeze August 23, 2013 at 12:24 am #

    If you let me, I would eat guacamole every day! That looks awesome!
    Anita Breeze recently posted…The Mediterranean DietMy Profile

  15. Robin F. August 23, 2013 at 1:07 am #

    Love the design of the building…. I would like to have the Nacho Cha-Chas and bring on the drinks….. I am going to visit the West Coast just our Foodie friend Tom and be his Intern side-kick

  16. Dov Shapira August 23, 2013 at 1:35 am #

    I love good fresh Ceviche.
    We are not lacking good Mexican food here in AZ.
    Thank you Tom
    Dov Shapira recently posted…Q-Lon type weather sealerMy Profile

  17. Donna Morgan August 23, 2013 at 1:40 am #

    These look really good. I’ll have to make some of these.

  18. John Hurd August 23, 2013 at 2:35 am #

    A Crisp Calamari together with a Margarita, sure makes a good combo. Haven’t tried any of these yet but I think good.

  19. Alikekid Sanrisk August 23, 2013 at 4:03 am #

    It’s a perfect time for lunch!

  20. Tyler August 23, 2013 at 4:07 am #

    wow, guacamole, shrimp and tacos are all my favorites. I should come along with y’all some time! Seriously!

  21. Dionne August 23, 2013 at 7:45 am #

    I could make a meal out the shrimp ceviche and guacamole. Yum!

  22. Jamie-Stacie Markham August 23, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    All your food looks amazing! The soft tacos look so good!

  23. Casey Gardner August 23, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    It all looks amazing. I would like to try the Queso Fundido…looks delicious.

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