Cha Cha Cha, Holland Village

Remember my date said that my blog should be the Yellow Ribbon Project of Bad Restaurants, to give second chances to restaurants with bad reviews? We did that today.

The HGW reviews on Cha Cha Cha have been terrible. But I go there once every 5 years. The first time, I, 17, went with Mike, someone who brought me out of the closet. We were there to celebrate the tenth-year anniversary of a gay couple. The second time, my friends and I celebrated my 20-something birthday there. Now, 30 years old, I return there. I have fond memories of the place.
I remember that it used to be quite up-scale and expensive but today, it has extended the restaurant to al fresco or air-con; smoking or non-smoking. I love the bright colors of the restaurant: aquamarine pillar with segments of mosaic really brings out the Mexican mood.
For those unfamiliar with Mexican food, here are some of the terminology: burrito, taco, chimichanga, enchilada, fajita – they are all meat wrapped in tortilla, like popiah. The names simply depend on what stuffing they have in the wrap and whether the wrap is deep-fried.
My sister ordered Chimichanga (above left), my date ordered Cha Cha Cha Combinados (consisting of rice, bean, a taco, and one other wrap). No comments on these two dishes since I didn’t taste it.
Midway through, there was a black-out! It was fun like hell.


We ordered a pitcher of strawberry margarita, which is nothing to boast about. But the serving was ample, enough to fill 7 glasses, and as we only had 4 people, filling 4 glasses, they kept the remaining in a freezer.
Being health conscious, I had the beef fajita, or Do-It-Yourself popiah. Came with sour cream, guacamole, shredded veg, 3 pieces of tortilla, and beef with jalapenos in a sizzling hot plate. The bad thing about using a hot plate is that our clothes smell after we left the restaurant but the great thing is the aroma was saliva-inducing. I really love my choice because I like every ingredient in it. I love jalapenos, most of all, something like green chili. When I said that, my date said that the J is supposed to be pronounced as H. I know that “fajita” is “fa-hee-ta,” “mojito” is “mo-hee-to” and I even know “Jesus” is “hey-sue” but when I ordered pizza in New York for the past four years, no Mexican servers had corrected me when I said “jalapeno.” But my date is right; it is pronounced as “halapeno.” Seriously, why can’t the Mexicans just eradicate the letter J and replace all the words with H?
We shared a churros, fried you-tiao with sugar and cinnamon (or cinnamon sugar?). I have always loved churros but this is the first time my sister tried it, and she who loves cinnamon doesn’t quite like churros.
Perhaps the company was great and the atmosphere relaxing that I like the place very much. But if I wasn’t in such great company, the unhappy servers might just ruin my night. There is nothing to complain about except that they don’t look like they like their job and the boss doesn’t look like he likes his restaurant.
We spent $145 or $36 per person.
For reservation: 6462 1650
Rating: 4.1172 stars

1 reply »

  1. nice post! BTW, i speak a bit of Spanish, and Jesus is pronounced Hey-Sues – the last s is pronounced. And as for asking them to eliminate the J, well English also has silent letters as in the word doubt or honour, and nobody is asking for an elimination, so it’s tradition i guess.


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