While pregnant with both my daughters I craved healthy food. Fortunately, I lived near a California Chicken Café and at least once a week, I’d pick up a rotisserie chicken with sides or one of their delicious wrap sandwiches.
Years later, I was happy to discover the original California Chicken Café across the street from the Beverly Press office. Since the food is fresh and reasonably priced, I grab a wrap to-go once a week.
Talking with one of the owners, I learned that he and another USC graduate opened the first California Chicken Café on Melrose Avenue in 1991. They wanted to open a casual, comfortable restaurant that served good food at low prices.
Within a few months, the café was thriving. A local customer, who had seen various restaurants fail at the same location, stopped in and told the owners, “I’m not surprised you guys are doing so well, the neighborhood needed something really good, congratulations.”
The most popular item to order is their ¼ white-meat chicken with two side dishes ($9). The chicken is moist and flavorful, and comes with white or whole-wheat pita bread. One of the most preferred side dishes is the freshly steamed orange squash. It’s fat-free and extremely satisfying. Another delicious side dish is the hot red potatoes with sautéed onions, garlic and seasonings. Don’t forget to get a couple of containers of their fresh salsa. I put this salsa on almost everything I order. It’s house made and lip smacking good.
Of the wrap sandwiches, the combo with chicken, guacamole, jack cheese, sprouts, Italian dressing, lettuce, tomato, and mayo is my favorite. They are all made to order – you won’t see any wraps sitting in a refrigeration cabinet.
Another choice is their Chinese wrap with chicken, crunchy noodles, Chinese dressing, shredded carrots, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. It’s superb. California Chicken Café didn’t invent wraps, yet they sure have popularized them. Wraps range from $6.25 to $7.75.
Also on their menu are six salads made to order, including a Chinese chicken salad ($9) and a low-calorie veggie ($7.25) or Caesar salad ($6.25). The owners are currently working on bringing two new salads to their menu, possibly a Southwest style salad and chicken curry salad. These will be offered in a wrap too.
Visit one of the seven California Chicken Cafes in the Los Angeles area. 6805 Melrose Ave, Hollywood (323)935-5877, 2401 Wilshire Blvd. Santa Monica (310)453-0477, 2005 Westwood Blvd. (310)446-1933, 424 Lincoln Blvd. Venice (310)392-3500, 15601 Ventura Blvd. Encino (818)789-8056, 18445 Nordhoff St. Northridge (818)700-9977, 22333 Ventura Blvd. Woodland Hills (818)716-6170. Price: $
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