By Giselle Arroyo (J-101 Staff Writer)
Chop Chop Chicken is a new restaurant in the Prado Center in Monterey Park with delicious options.
It opened its doors on Nov. 12. They are temporarily giving out samples to potential customers. “I will ask everyone to try it…and then let them decide why they liked it and why they didn’t like it,” said co-owner Rafik Bazikian. He said he has confidence that his food will satisfy customers.
“First of all, I would ask them to try it and then let them find the reason of why they should be here,” said Bazikian. He said he’s positive that customers will return because the food is fresh, healthy, tasty, and the best variety of food combinations a person can have.
Their menu may seem small, but it is delicious. The menu is a simple combination of chicken or beef, rice and vegetables paired with five homemade sauces of the customers’ choice.
“You can’t find the beef, the chicken, rice and vegetables anywhere else,” said Bazikian. Bazikian and his business partner Ara Tifn are the co-owners of Chop Chop Chicken.
Everything on the menu is fresh. The vegetables, beef, and chicken are never frozen. The veggies consist of zucchini, onion, carrots, lettuce and red bell pepper. All are equally nutritious and delicious.
The ingredients to their dishes are marinated, spiced and seasoned for a perfect flavoring.
The meat is marinated so it’s tasty the way it is or you can add extra flavors like garlic sauce, sriracha sauce, chipotle sauce, etc.
“That’s how we do it, simple, small menu, and fresh in quality,” said Bazikian.
They try to be all inclusive with their menu. They even offer a vegetarian option. “It’s different and much healthier,” said Bazikian about his menu.
“It’s quick service, but not a fast food,” said Bazikian. Although they have quick service, they will not leave you unsatisfied and sluggish like fast food places, because the food is fresh and different.
Students can get a 10 percent discount anytime as long as they show their school ID when ordering their food. The menu is affordable for college students.
“The college [ELAC] helps a lot. That’s why we are trying to put the 10 percent discount. First of all, they are students. Second, they are the main customers,” said Bazikian.
Chop Chop Chicken has a positive, calming and welcoming atmosphere. The room, as well as the music, make the place welcoming for all.
“There’s plenty of space where you can come eat and do homework,” said Crystal Maceda, an ELAC student and a current employee at Chop Chop Chicken.
This place is not only for students to enjoy, but for ELAC’s faculty and staff as well. “I’ve seen a few professors come and eat with their students,” said Maceda.
Sometimes a change of education venue can help students concentrate. It’s convenient for everyone.
“We have lots of room, not only in our dining room. but also in our hearts to accept everyone,” said Bazikian.
They are also working on having Wi-Fi available in the building. “We have a big place. They [students] can hang out and I am working on having internet,” said Tifn.
The workers here believe in where they work. They enjoy working in the restaurant and what they are doing.
“I love it. Everybody here is really friendly, customer wise and coworker wise,” said Maceda..
Bazikan and Tifn both share the same values about the quality of healthy food, which is why they are collaborative business partners. “I believe his food is much better. That’s why I partnered with him,” said Tifn.
Tifn left Yoshinoya, a Japanese fast food chain, after 10 years to partner up with Bazikian.
They welcome any questions and comments from customers because they collectively agree there is always room for improvement. A playful comment from some of the restaurants’ first customers became their new slogan, “No heartburn,” said Bazikian. “The first time they eat it, they noticed it’s fresh food.”
“We like to create something different…we bring the real food in with quick service,” said Tifn. Chop Chop Chicken is located in the Prado Center at 2211 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754.