Cha Cha's Latin Kitchen - Irvine

4.5
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303 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen is an award-winning Latin restaurant offering contemporary dishes including seafood; braised meats; and grinding corn in-house to create tortillas and various masa dishes. Cha Cha’s has become known for fresh Latin cuisine made-from-scratch with quality, seasonal ingredients; sustainably-caught seafood; wood-fired meats; local organic produce; as well as signature margaritas and an innovative cocktail menu.
What 303 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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RD
Memphis
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Delicious food. Great service. Horrible tortillas (stiff and hard)

S
Orange County
11 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

ChaCha's consistently delivers a scrumptious and memorable experience. The salmon is one of our absolute favorites. We go to a few seafood restaurants and the salmon at ChaCha's is far superior to any we've had. It's so fresh, cooked perfectly (medium-rare to rare depending on how we order it), and the glaze adds just the right amount of spice, sweetness and savoryness. Amazingly the fish is not just warm but it's actually hot and it really delivers superior flavor. We like the roasted potatoes a great deal but the calabascitas have become our favorite. Our other entree favorite is, of course, the carne asada. It's always perfectly cooked, tender and flavorful, and again, with either the roasted potatoes or the calabascitas, it's an absolutely wonderful dish. We will continue to go to ChaCha's several times a month and hope to be willing to forego either the salmon or the asada so that we can at least try some of the other great-sounding things on the menu. That's always our objective but in the end we almost always find ourselves ordering either the salmon or the asada. The servers are always very friendly and helpful and they go out of their way to make sure we are happy with our meal. We have recommended ChaCha's to at least 10 other couples. All of them were delighted and continue to go back for more.

j
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server was amazing. Hope she helps us in the future. Our hearts are still in brea. Thank you irvine

d
Orange County
33 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 2

Food was very mediocre. Tried the short rib enchiladas which were quite salty and simply unexciting. The crab and shrimp enchiladas were off-putting with a fishy taste and a sauce that was reminiscent of pedestrian clam chowder (I know, I’m confused too).

But the service was outstanding from the gentleman waiting our table. Absolutely some of the best service I’ve ever experienced and I say that having been to Michelin-starred restaurants the world over.

a
Orange County
142 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 4

Free chips but tasted a bit off. The watermelon margarita was pretty good. All on the rocks except for one. The fish taco was deep fried, would prefer grilled or baked. The shrimp taco was too spicy. The mushroom taco was good.

JG
Orange County
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

The food is not good. The service was poor. The hostess was not friendly.

S
Los Angeles
16 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Food & drinks are actually quite good. (Favorites are the Cadillac Marg and the Carnitas plate!)

However, repeatedly, the service is MEDIOCRE AT BEST. Not particularly friendly or attentive. Seem lazy, bored and distracted. Food is delivered haphazardly. We bought another table (friends celebrating a birthday a round of drinks). They charged me the $60 for their drinks, but never told them that we had bought them. (They thought the waiter goofed, and forgot to charge them.). Whatever...

Have low expectations. Maybe try sitting at the bar. But, again... at least the Carnitas were good!

S
Orange County
12 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The Carne Asada and the salmon are the best y husband and I have ever had! Both are beyond absolutely delicious and they melt in your mouth! It's really a pleasure to go there. We feel really fortunate that this great restaurant is so close to our home.

Q
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

Service
Sadly another over hyped Irvine restaurant. Made a reservation for a business dinner, two members arrived a couple minutes earlier and were seated. When the rest of the group showed up, the hostess couldn't acknowledge the fact we had a reservation, and just prompted me to go in and look for the others. After we were seated we went through the normal routine and drinks were ordered. One attendee decided to order a drink later and the waiter went to retrieve the menu and brought it to the table. By this time the food had arrived and the waiter never came back to get the drink order.

Food:
It was no frills Americanized Mexican food. The group ordered a variety of things including a quesadilla, empanadas, and the crab and lobster empanadas. It wasn't bad, but nothing to get excited about. I was a bit underwhelmed by the empanadas. Chips came with a salsa roja or salsa verde which were decent, but again nothing to write home about. Between the lack of service and mediocre food, we decided to skip dessert and just take the check.

Overall:
Another 4.5ish star Yelp restaurant in Irvine that was just mediocre at best. I know we live in a world where everything is 1 star or 5 star, but this was truly a 3 star experience. One would think that the sheer number of restaurants in the Marketplace would force them to compete for business, but the reality seems to be that the mixed bag of mega chain restaurants and smaller establishments like Cha Cha's all just seek to meet that very boring below average expectation set by the mega chains. If you are looking for something different keep looking, if you want meh, you've found your spot!

SY
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 2ambience 5

Unfortunately, the service was awful! It took a very long time g time to order drinks, get the drinks and order food. Good margaritas, food was so, so....steak tacos tough.

SB
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Three friends and I went to Cha Cha’s before a concert. We thoroughly enjoyed everything about it. The ambience was great, the food was great, and the service was great. We would definitely go back. Loved the fresh Latin flavors. The only thing that was disappointing was the chips. We would have preferred fresh chips, they were a little stale. But overall, a great experience.

CM
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere and ambiance. The food is excellent and the portions are a good size without being too much. Carne Asada was cooked perfectly and the presentation was nice. Great drinks, great music, great food, great service!

BP
Orange County
9 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

The service is slow. It took a while to be waited on and for us to get drinks and food. The servers were extremely personable, which made the experience more pleasant.

T
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the food and service was good.

ST
Orange County
46 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

They've really made a winning combination. This Irvine location just turned 2 years old and we've come probably a dozen times. Typically we start with a Cha Cha's Margarita, delicious with ruby red grapefruit juice. Then for an appetizer we always get Queso Fundido with Chorizo (my main reason for coming). For the main course, their Carne Asada is really special. It tastes freshly grilled and has a perfectly-matched chimichurri topping. It comes with great potatoes, but the alternative zucchini-corn accompaniment is really good too. Although it's Mexican food, it's not typical because they have customized all the dishes we've were creatively new. The outdoor patio overlooks the landscaped parking lot, but with the fresh openness right there, you don't really notice all the cars. The music is always fairly loud in the speakers, so eating outside helps.

R
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this restaurant. Everything on the menu is delicious and the staff are so welcoming! And, love the entertainment!!!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food & atmosphere! Great service! Super friendly & efficient

LG
Orange County
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Everything was great except that the hostess did not check us in properly with the reservation so I had to respond to a no-show email by calling the restaurant and responding to OpenTable. Other than that inconvenience, the food and service was good.

OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Taco Tuesday is the best. 6 gourmet tacos for $12.50. Can’t beat it.

M
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Food a bit too spicy for our tastes. They did remake a sandwich because of that, however.

SZ
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Margaritas were delicious, food was so fresh tasting and a great spin off on regular Mexican food, live music at sunday brunch, and an overall great menu and ambiance! Will be back :)

AK
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Good food! Service seemed a bit rushed and hasty...but great ambiance

OT
Orange County
6 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Have been coming to Cha Chas for a few years. The food has always been excellent and the margaritas delicious. I think this is the first time we had a bad experience here. We were seated immediately which was nice, we did have a reservation. Upon seating a server brought us water, but didn't come back to our table for at least 5-7 minutes. When she did come back she immediately asked if we were ready to order. I said no we would like drinks first. She took our order and brought us chips... to make a long story less long... we had to ask her twice for everything. Down to the bill... I'm not sure if she was brand new? Or just overwhelmed for a Saturday? I guess every restaurant has a bad day.

AK
Orange County
8 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

We have been here several times I’m not sure what happened but our food (chicken and the carnitas) was dry. Service was slow even getting waters refilled was very difficult hoping for better service next time.

OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great ambience and delicious food!

S
Los Angeles
102 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Good flavors and presentation. Enjoyed el fresco dining, but it was adjacent to the parking lot. Good tacos and salsa. Will return to explore the menu.

BC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Had the Skirt Steak sandwich which was excellent. The meat was tender and cooked just right and the bread was soft and flavorful.

DR
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 3

Our first time! Got there 6 wed!
I'm an older guy 72! Young at heart😁 my first impression? Very crowded! And not very big! High noice level# not good!
However after awhile I hardly noticed! Now my concern about whether we'd get good service?
Go be! The service was great!
Even the owner helped out#
,, the Callermari and ship! Awesume! Food was overall very good!
I would cone back#

AW
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love going to Cha Cha’s and bring friends. It’s one of our go to places! Definitely recommend. My favorite things to get on the menu are the watermelon margaritas and the grilled romaine salad.

OT
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

There were two small dogs at the table next to us who barked at everyone who walked by including waiters and all guests. Then they barked at each other. When their owners finished eating they picked up the dogs and let them run around on the table. So unsanitary. It was busy so service was slow. Had to flag down passing waiters to ask for refills on drinks or salsa. We ordered tacos. They were all very soggy. It’s clear the meat sits in containers and is just scooped out and put on tortilla, not freshly made. They tasted good but very messy. The chips and salsa are tasty so that’s a plus.

OT
Orange County
20 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food overall. The Carne Asada is outstanding, and the Guac perfect. Love this place.

OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on May 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

The food was great, however the service was very slow. Our food came faster than our drinks and when we asked for a refill of chips we got it towards the end of our meal.

S
New York Area
28 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the taco tuesday deals!! Guac was a lot spicier than normal but everything else was incredible

CR
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

Food is okay but not great. Ambience is very nice.

MR
1 review
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

I was pleasantly surprised with the restaurant....rather reminded me of being in a different country like So. Africa where they have many “open air” places. I really like the ambiance & the layout! Fun place to meet up w/friends. The special drinks are quite good & so was the food. I’ll definitely be back

OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 4ambience 4

Food is good. Server was great. Front desk girl wasn’t very helpful. Short story is the table they sat us at was tiny. We had plates stacked on each other and stuff on the floor to make room. Would’ve expected more from a reservation.

AM
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Friendly and attentive staff!! Pozole Verde was delicious!!!

RR
Orange County
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 1

It was loud, service lagged, they forgot our appetizer, the food was not bad, but not good enough to bring us back. We also had a reservation but had to wait to be seated. Overall, not going back.

M
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place for Cinco de Mayo! Service was great and the food was good...

M
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

The food is ok here and way too expensive for what it is. We ordered the braised short rib enchilada and salmon which was edible but at $20 a plate level it was not really worth it. We also had a reservation but they seated people ahead of us that came after us and when it came time to order, they serviced people that came after us as well. Honestly, if you want to spend your money more wisely somewhere that’s better I would recommend a different Mexican place where the prices are as high but you are guaranteed better service. I was at Xavier’s, Puesto, and Red O recently and I would rather spend my money there than Cha Cha’s.

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