My wife and I took my brother and his wife out to dinner for his birthday. He chose Cha Cha Cha in Encino as it is near his home and we were with my 3 month old nephew (he slept the whole time, which turned out to be the best decision anyone made that evening). I had been there once before and based on past experience, I reluctantly agreed to his choice. We were seated promptly. Service was good throughout the night except for one rather major mistake (described later).
Food was mediocre at best. My bro had the chicken gumbo to start, which he enjoyed. The rest of us decided to only have main courses. My brother had the skirt steak which was over cooked from the requested medium rare to well done. The women both had the tri tip which was drenched in bbq sauce that was overly sweetened to the point of cloying. The meat was also rather tough. I had the special mixed grill consisting of a petit filet (the only correctly cooked piece of meat), andouille sausage, two overcooked lamb chops and a flavorless, boneless chicken breast in the sweetened bbq sauce. Most of the plates came with carrots and broccoli, both of which were overcooked, and french fries.
The one big mistake, that is my pet-peeve, occurred when the waiter removed our main plates, while my wife was clearly not finished with her entrée. The waiter even brought dessert menus to the table while she continued to eat. IMHO-this is unacceptable, unprofessional and borders on rudeness. Though I couldnt wait to get out of there, my brother wanted the banana cream pie, which he seemed to enjoy.
Having been a customer of the original in Silverlake since its opening in 86, there is almost nothing at the Encino branch that resembles the original, other than the poor attempt at continuing the "tropical" theme. It is clearly a poor example of this type of cuisine and a place I hope never to return to. Of course, this is only my opinion. Others should take this review for what its worth.
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