The sign on the Chili Hut on Main Street in retro downtown Santa Paula claims it is "Japanese-American", but it recently changed hands and is now more Chinese, and very much American as well.
The decor, without any thought or pretension, remains 1950's diner with booths, tuck and roll naugahyde upholstery and an authentic counter with revolving naugahyde stools. It is just simply the way the restaurant has kept its looks, both spacious and cozy. The service by the limited English speaking owners was cordial and efficient.
I ordered the Teriyaki chicken (holdover menu item from prior owners?) and companion had the sweet-sour chicken. Two standard dishes to try in this very modest diner setting.
What a surprise - both were superb. Mine was $5.99, companions was $6.99. Served with eggroll, fried rice and vegetable garnishes. Plan on going back to try a few more items recently listed on new menu - garlic chicken for sure. Hope they keep the quality high and the crowds keep coming. They deserve every success.
This makes two special dining destinations for Santa Paula: Hozy's and now The Chili Hut.