By Jane Fernandez
Located just three miles south of campus, Cha Cha Chili, a Korean Mexican fusion restaurant is sure to satisfy anyone’s hunger.
The medium-size restaurant has a welcoming feeling, with signs mimicking old beer ads.
With booths and side tables, the staff ensures that their customers are comfortable during their time there.
The owners are also conscious about recycling. There are recycling bins throughout the restaurant.
The staff welcomes the customers with a friendly smile and willing to answer any questions about the food.
Unlike most fast food restaurants, the staff at Cha Cha Chili takes the time to make sure that the customers are having the best eating experience as they go around refilling the water.
The eatery serves a wide selection of Mexican inspired dishes with Korean style meats and condiments.
Although complementary tortillas and chips are served with the order, the crab-flavored stuffed mushroom poppers and crab-flavored stuffed jalapeño bombs are a great way to open appetite for the main entry.
The wide selection of menu items ranges from burgers to chimichangas.
At a price of $7.45, large enough for two to share, the Korean BBQ Burrito brings the best of both worlds into a delicious combination.
The beef or Bulgogi burrito is loaded with marinated rice, a lettuce mix, cilantro and salsa.
Bulgogi is a Korean style of marinating meat, which includes ingredients such as soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, pepper and ginger.
The first bite of the burrito is flavorful, leaving taste buds wanting more of it.
The restaurant also offers vegetarian dishes and has a tofu option for most of them.
The Kimchee quesadilla is a new twist to the traditional quesadilla.
The quesadilla comes with spicy kimchee, jack and cheddar cheese and a choice of meat, which include chicken, beef, spicy pork, short rib, fish or tofu.
Kimchee is a traditional Korean side dish. The vegetable is usually fermented for a few days to a month as the taste grows stronger and it becomes tastier. Cabbage is usually the main ingredient but scallion, cucumber and radish are also used.
Prices for this dish range from $6.25 to $7.25 for the short rib.
The Korean angus burger and the chorizo angus burger at a price of $5.55 follow a traditional American concept.
Both burgers also follow a Mexican and Korean style, bringing burger lovers a chance to try both Mexican-American and Korean American hamburgers.
Classic French fries do not accompany any item but they can be added to the order for $2.20.
Customers can also try the house inspired Cha Cha Fries with chorizo, cheese, beans, pico de gallo, jalapeños and sour cream.
The restaurant also offers a beer menu and happy hour is from 2:30 to 6 p.m. on a daily basis and items are reasonably priced.
Restaurant parking is limited but there is street parking available.
Cha Cha Chili is located at 640 W. Valley Blvd. in Alhambra.