Chaak KITCHEN

4.6
165 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary Mexican
Inspired by Executive Chef Gabbi Patrick’s Yucatecan roots, CHAAK features Mayan staples of pibil,
recados, seafood, smoke, and exotic spices combined with her signature modern flare. Located in
Southeastern Mexico, the Yucatan peninsula differs from other regional Mexican cuisine with Spanish,
Caribbean, and Mediterranean influences, dense tropical climate, and deep roots of the native Maya
culture. Experience the spirit of the Yucatan at CHAAK
What 165 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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D
Orange County
21 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Went to Chaak for lunch. Food was pretty good and cocktail was good. Price was a little high especially for Tustin. Looked at the dinner menu and felt the entrees were limited and priced high ($95 for a 32 oz steak - but what if only 1 person wanted steak...). Would go back but not for dinner.

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L
Orange County
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The food was tasty. The server, however, did not provide guidance as to what should be served when. We ordered lots of delicious things but one salad came early and one came way late. One entree came early on and one came when we were toast. Orchestrating the order of the meal is important. We will go back, but we’ll orchestrate better.

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M
Orange County
11 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great mexican food!!!

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F
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Simply a WOW! We sampled smaller plates and enjoyed each one. Many mor things we want to try here. Definitely coming back.

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LK
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 1

Long wait even with reservation. We waited 15mins to order, waited for 15-20 mins between appetizers and main dish. At the end when the food arrived it wasn't even warm. Too bad, as the service during lunch hours is much better.

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LD
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was superb the lovely flavors blended perfectly. My favorite was the little neck clams or was it the bone marrow.... maybe it was the octopus ceviche or the green bean / asparagus salad? It was excellent !!

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MN
Yosemite
2 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Well Done Gabbi! Loved the food, service was excellent and the drinks were nice!

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OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent menu with authentic Mexican dishes, Ceviche, Huaraches & Empanadas were all excellent. Cochinita Pibil was out of this world. Highly, highly recommend!

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a
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Beautiful restaurant. Great service. Unique and delicious cocktails. Spicy and ambitious menu.

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S
Palm Springs
8 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My second time here and first for lunch. The Lime soup was killer. Great salad, too. Service outstanding... very attentive without being too present. This is a gem for downtown Tustin. I hope the area will fill in around this place.

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VM
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner was amazing. Wait staff and management was so helpful. Santa Ana winds were vicious and they graciously moved us inside. Food was tremendous. We could not stop ordering and every plate got better and better. Can’t wait to return!

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d
Los Angeles
48 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food - a Tustin go to !

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CL
Orange County
14 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

I really enjoyed our food and the ambiance but they really need to work on timing of the drinks and meal. Drinks came out 2 at a time (for our party of 4) and my meal came out at least 8-10 minutes later than the rest of our party. I love the restaurant and ambiance but service needs to be tightened

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OC
Orange County
19 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Made reservations for my daughter’s 31st birthday dinner. Since we’d celebrated two other birthdays at at Chaak in recent months, I had certain expectations. The food and drinks were outstanding, as always, that wasn’t the issue.

Firstly- We had a party of five and apparently they had rearranged the seating a bit that day. We were shown to our table newly placed in the front corner by the bar. Nice spot if you’re looking for a secluded quiet dinner but not really the vibe I was looking for on this festive occasion. I immediately asked for a different table in the main part of the dining room, it was my daughter’s first time there and wanted her to experience the atmosphere, see the kitchen and the decor. Unfortunately, no other table was available.

Secondly- Great meal, cocktails & service except when the coffee, sherry and desserts were served, there was no birthday candle. I had specified on the reservation it was a birthday, mentioned it to the hostess and the waitress. Afterwards, the waitress said she’d forgotten the candle. My daughter was fine with it, I was not. Great meal, just not very festive.

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w
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Too noisy, too cold, overpriced. Food OK, but not great. A one time experience for us.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great food, great drinks! Very pretty, loved it!

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VS
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Parking is a problem. I had to look for a space for about 15 minutes.

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L
Orange County
32 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The cocktail program is great. Food is spot on and goes well with the cocktail menu. Would highly recommend.

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CG
Orange County
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have eaten at Chaak several times now and have had a great meal every time! Great date night choice. We love their fish appetizer and the green bean salad is killer! The service is superb as well. We always eat on the patio since it’s quieter and if it’s a chilly night, they always have effective heaters nearby.

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DB
Los Angeles
16 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food very fresh. This is not your average Mexican food. The price point is a little high but you get what you pay for. Some very cool cocktails also

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MK
Orange County
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 5

Been to Chaak four times in last month, food has been fantastic on each visit, however the lack of respect from the manager on our last visit (12/21) is what i'll remember the most. The steak we ordered was delivered cold, the four of us at the table each took a piece and came to the same conclusion. We asked the server to replace with a warm steak, he said he doesn't have authority to make those decisions and would have to request manager approval. Manager came over and asked what's the problem, told him our steak was cold and his comment "well obviously it can't be that bad you already ate some of it", then he said what do you want me to do about it? After a couple of minutes negotiating with him he agreed to bring us another steak, but he was not happy he had to address the problem. Server was great, food with exception of cold steak was fantastic, but can't get over the lack of disrespect from management. Final bill came and manager charged us for both steaks (with 25% discount off the first steak), again had to address with a the manager, his comment was "well what do you expect you ate part of the first steak". Unfortunately one poor manager can make an other wise great restaurant and turn it into one that we will not visit again.

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DD
Los Angeles
17 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Bring your reading glasses. The print on the menu was beyond small. Food ok. Our server was very helpful.

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OC
Orange County
25 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is awesome! The octapus appetizer is one of the best we’ve had but EVERYTHING is outstanding! Imaginative, authentic, delicious!

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C
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

I had high expectation of this place after seeing it being featured in “I am Tustin” page. First I had reservations for 2. When I checked in the hostess tried seating me at this high top two person table by the kitchen by hallway to the bathroom, that’s a NO NO. No one wants to be sat by kitchen.. and smell like a kitchen! So I asked nicely
For another table perhaps one that was in between the patio and inside. They won’t seat you at a table meant for 4 if you’re a party of 2 FYI... so if you like high top tables like me, forget it, those are
Meant for 3-4 people. I ordered a few things and spent about $170 for two people. We started with the tamarind mezcal cocktail which I didn’t enjoy at all. I expected it to taste differently than mezcal and tangy tamarind taste, it was missing something, it just didn’t taste right. We ordered the empanada which was the only reason why I ate it is because of the sauce it came with, otherwise I wouldn’t have eaten it. It was nothing special, just cheesy corn empanada. I liked the octopus appetizer. I disliked the bone marrow one. I disliked the chicken dinner dish and the pork shoulder was also mehhh.. panacotta was bland ...

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LG
Orange County
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Been to Chaak a handful of times now and it is stellar!

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F
Orange County
6 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We love Chaak! Each time we try new things and have our favorites. Food is amazing and unique. Service has been outstanding.

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l
Orange County
22 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

First time visit very impressed.
Loved the vibe, the food was awesome, service was outstanding
Will go back soon

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BS
Las Vegas
19 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Chaak Kitchen has some phenomenal dishes that you absolutely must try! The Tuetano is beyond incredible! It’s this incredibly delicately grilled bread with bone marrow and a shallot marmalade that is one of the best things I’ve ever had. (I’d put it up against the Bone Marrow at Eleven Madison Park, and that’s saying so much right there.) One thing I appreciated about the dish was the amount of marmalade they give is enough you can put it on other dishes if you’d like, which I did. The Cochinita Pibil Panuchos was also amazingly phenomenal. The level of smoke against the tender texture of the meat and the avocado aioli is absolute perfection. I had the Esquites and although they were beautiful, they were massively over salted and I couldn’t eat the dish.

As far as cocktails go their House Margarita is very good, one of the two best house margaritas I’ve found while out dining. The Oxegeno was poorly balanced overall; the spiced pear brandy was funky and completely overtook the mezcal. The same was true of the whiskey in the Old Fashioned Inspired. The Tamarindo Con Chile was very good overall but once it diluted the deliciousness fell apart quickly.

I had to award fewer stars for the level of service though - the ambience implies a high level but the server neglected to inform us about both last call as well as dessert.

Overall it’s a very nice dinner and I’d recommend you go, but maybe expect 7 or 8 out of 10.

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OT
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food but small portions.

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C
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

The cocktails are NOT craft or fresh however the prices & descriptions make you think they are. We ordered jalapeño margaritas and they tasted like they were straight from el Torito. There was nothing fresh muddled or spicy...after two "returns" the third was the same mix with sliced jalapeños floating in them...we finally gave up.
Although most of the food was tasty (enchiladas were really bland and the half chicken was over smoked and doused with a sauce that no. Of us could really put our finger on. The pork tacos were really good (hence my one star)...Also...there were 5 of us who all got our meals nearly 10-25 minutes apart! No genuine apology, in fact the owner came over and said sorry for the delay but they were working really hard on our cocktails!! Lol He did comp a round of drinks however I think our whole experience should have been comped and maybe we would have thought it was a fluke and try it agin sometime. No chance we will ever go again.
Obviously the service was marginal (at least for us)...in fact when one of my friends asked for vegetarian options the server said they didn't have any so as I started looking closer I pointed out three seemingly vegetarian options and it was as if the server was discovering the menu with me...how do you go to a pretty expensive restaurant and have the server not know the menu???
As a big fan of Gabi's my expectations were high and I left incredibly disappointed. Soooo bummed.

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OT
Orange County
10 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went in for a non-standard Taco Tuesday meaning we wanted Mexican but not cheap tacos. The flatbread was very good with a tiny bit of heat. The Duck dish was nice, maybe a tiny bit dry. It could've used perhaps some sort of salsa as the corn pillow tortilla which was perfection made it a bit of a mouthful, though very flavorful The tri-tip. sausage and chicken with sautéed veggies was great, looking forward to using the leftovers in an egg scramble at home.

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FB
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

This was our first time at CHAAK Kitchen and we were impressed. The ceviche and grilled octopus are not to be missed. The tortilla shells were not our favorite nor were the salsas, but overall we'll be back.

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JS
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 10, 2018
Overall 3food 1service 5ambience 4

This was my third time there and the first and second times I was there the food / small plates we ordered were very tasty and delicious. This past time I was there, the food did not seem of the same quality as the first two times I was there. It was kind of disappointing actually as this was my birthday and a special occasion. I am unsure I will return there in the future for food.

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R
Orange County
69 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great new restaurant for Tustin. Our second time, and we will return! Great ambiance; very nicely decorated, very modern and hip! Good service.

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PH
Orange County
9 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

I love this hip and cool place in the middle of old town Tustin. Food is amazing and so are the cocktails. A great place to enjoy with friends. Tried the Pulpo (very tender and tasty) and the Cochita (pork shoulder) is a must. Tortillas are authentic and definitely a must try. Will come back... Only downside is that when it gets super packed the service slows down. But is definitely a top choice for a delicious night out with friends

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PG
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food! Great service and love the ambiance! Went for dinner and we were not disappointed! Love this place!

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OT
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

The food was great! Very flavorful and they had interesting choices. The bummer was the server all over the place and not dedicated to one area. She was lost for at least 20 mins. And we didn't even order our main courses. The reservation experience, it was made for a specific seating type and we arrived 15mins early just in case. The hostess assured us we would be seated at our reservation time however we aren't seated until 25 mins after our reservation; we also were seated outside when we reserved inside. But at that point we just wanted to be seated period.

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r
Orange County
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 5

Have been to Gabbi's many times and loved the food there. Have similar level of expectations but we were disappointed with the vegetarian dishes.

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JR
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

All fabulous but the noise level is far too high. Can't hardly talked to your dinner companions.

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D
Orange County
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Terrific food, service and impressive booze selection

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