So I was craving tacos like nobody’s business the other day and was recommended to this place in El Monte, Calif. named Cha Café. Since I hadn’t gone on a food porn adventure in a while, I felt like this was the perfect place to jump back in. Cha has been through many changes since it opened in 2009. It started as a Vietnamese coffee house, then moved on to a Tapas restaurant, then a Fusion restaurant and finally found its place serving California comfort food. This hole-in-the-wall establishment was a nice and relaxing surprise in the heart of my former hometown of El Monte.
Let me start off by saying bravo. Although they have daily specials on different menu items every day of the week, Tuesday is always Taco Tuesday. Cha serves delightful fusion tacos at $2 for two and come in kalbi beef, chicken and pork. I love fusion tacos, and this place really hit the spot in terms of flavor, heat and portions. I was a happy man.
My definite favorite of the three had to be the kalbi beef. I almost didn’t want to take a bite and ruin the beautiful sight before me. Of course, I quickly squashed that idea the moment the wondrous aroma hit my nose.
I know why they call them Ninja Fries. It’s because they’ve made their way into my stomach, undetected, in a matter of minutes. The Ninja Fries are one of the more well-known menu items at Cha and very much beloved in my own heart after my trip. Served with their special Cha sauce, the fries are made from Kabocha, a Japanese pumpkin packed with vitamin C, iron and fiber. Thankfully, their deliciousness tells you none of that.
Probably because they were deep-fried.
This is the one menu item I was most excited for when I first heard about Cha. Chorizo is probably one of my favorite types of meats, and the idea of throwing it in a deep-fried wonton? Well, I just had to try it. Cha, from what I heard, has been known to run out of their Chorizo Wontons from time-to-time. But I was willing to take a chance and see if this was worth all the buzz.
A definite: Yes.
Served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce, these deep-fried packets of heaven were music to my ears and poetry for my soul. It was definitely worth the fatty deposits to my heart.
Cha Café is worth looking up if you’re ever in the El Monte area and craving some good comfort foods. Plus, on a hot day you can order their especially refreshing sweet tea mojitos. Make sure to take advantage of their daily specials though, so you can definitely get more bang for your buck.
10308 Lower Azusa Road
El Monte, CA 91731