Cha Cha Cha makes LA look and feel like a million bucks - without trying too hard in the process. The Mexican restaurant sits atop a rooftop in the Arts District, and strikes that balance between fun and casual, while also being downright beautiful. It’s the kind of spot that’s good for just about any occasion when you want to actually get dressed for dinner.
Swing by with a few friends for some mezcal cocktails and tuna tostadas, hit a romantic date night out of the park, or convince an out-of-town friend to move to LA. It’s also a perfect place to eat and drink while trying to remember how to socialize. In other words, it’s the perfect restaurant for reminding yourself why you still live in this city in the first place.
Anytime you walk into a restaurant with a sprawling, sun-drenched patio, cocktails are likely the first order of business. Cha Cha Cha is no exception. While we’ve liked almost every cocktail we’ve tried (the red pepper mezcal negroni is a standout), the margarita deserves extra attention. It’s a pretty straightforward version (tequila blanco, lime, salt), but the secret weapon is the touch of Combier L’Orange, which gives the cocktail a sweet bitterness that’ll stay on your tongue through dinner.
This is one of our favorite dishes on Cha Cha Cha’s menu. The tuna itself is so fresh it’s almost transluscent and the chile morita aioli on the bottom provides just the right amount of spicy creaminess without overpowering the mild fish. But perhaps the secret weapon to the whole thing is the crispy cilantro on top. Even if you’re one of those people who like using “I hate cilantro!” as a conversation starter, this might finally make you rethink that statement.
The second we bit into this taco and the wave of umami from the bunapi and maitake mushrooms hit the back of our tongue, we immediately blacked out and ordered two more. So, don’t be alarmed if that happens to you. Coupled with the creamy acidity of the salsa de aguacate, this is an expertly-built taco and one you will under no circumstance be sharing with anyone.
At $44, this is easily the most expensive dish on the menu, but you won’t regret having it on the table. For starters, it easily feeds two adults. Most importantly, it’s essentially a personal build-your-own taco station filled with perfectly-grilled medium rare NY strip steak, charred tomatoes and nopales, red wine salsa, and radiant, blue jean-colored corn tortillas. If you’re with a group, this spread is about as shareable as it gets.
We completely understand if you have trouble showing restraint once the steak pa’taquear hits the table, but do what you need to do to have enough room leftover for this carrot flan. It’s rich and creamy with a heavy tang from the cream cheese frosting that takes the whole dish to gasping-at-the-table levels of deliciousness.