Friday, March 11, 2016
Rate-A-Restaurant #366: California Chicken Cafe
Restaurant: California Chicken Cafe
Location: 9045 Topanga Canyon Blvd. (Chatsworth)
Type of restaurant: Chicken (new)
We stipulated: Deep in the West Valley for a tax appointment, we didn't want to wait until we were further east to eat lunch. We've driven by Chatsworth outpost of the 8-store mini chain since it opened in 2013, but had never gone in.
They stipulated: "California Chicken Cafe has been serving rotisserie chicken, salads, and wraps since 1991 when the first store opened on Melrose Avenue. Two college friends started California Chicken Cafe with the vision of a quick service restaurant with great value and great food. Melrose was busy the first day it opened and it has yet to slow down."
What we ordered: 1/4 chicken (breast and wing) with two sides: Chinese cabbage salad (red and green cabbage, green onions, almonds, sesame seeds, sweet dressing) and freshly steamed squash ($11.50); Chinese wrap (chicken, Chinese noodles, Chinese dressing, carrots, lettuce, tomato, mayo) $8.75; Kids mini side (chicken pasta salad -- chicken, pasta, green onions, 1000 Island dressing) with pita bread $2.50; three piece chicken $6
High point: I've never seen a restaurant do this before: A self-serve ice shaving machine, with syrups, allow you to make your own shave ice dessert.
Low point: Disappointing that there's no steamed rice (only a rice primavera) and no veggies like broccoli for the healthy-minded.
Overall impression: Remember Koo Koo Roo? That chain (RIP) did the rotisserie chicken concept a bit better. The California Chicken Cafe is a nice environment, but the choices are surprisingly limited.
Will we return: I can see where it might be a place to go to in a pinch... but with Zankou chicken at our fingertips, I don't see a need to go out of our way for it.