The host greets you with a cheerful smile as you are escorted to your indoor or outdoor seat for an enjoyable dining experience.
Bright, friendly and clean, Chamela Grill, a new restaurant on Bonita Avenue, off D street in downtown La Verne, replaces the former Casa Garcia, with similar Mexican fare.
“I just thought this was a nice little quiet place to start,” said Ernesto Madrigal, Chamela’s owner.
Madrigal said he wanted to bring authentic Mexican food to downtown La Verne.
The menu includes burritos, tacos, enchiladas and many other Mexican dishes.
The food is fresh and made to order so expect a short delay while your order receives all the custom trimmings.
The atmosphere – including bright colors – gives the place an upbeat feel.
“I like the orange walls. It reminds me of an old Spanish house,” Jennifer Spencer, Chamela customer and University of La Verne freshman, said.
“The tacos were good and authentic, like they were made by my mom,” Spencer said.
In addition to the great tasting food Chamela Grill is reasonable priced.
Burritos are one of the restaurants most popular items, which you can get dry or wet.
The wet burrito is covered with delicious red sauce and cheese.
Customers may be surprised when the waiter brings out a burrito that practically covers the entire plate.
“I may spend $9 for lunch, and there is no way I can finish it all, so I eat the leftovers for dinner,” customer Cheryl Cargile said.
Other menu favorites are the beef and cheese enchiladas and the hard shell tacos.
The restaurant is very affordable with only a few entrees exceeding $10. If you are on a budget you could get a burrito with carne asada, chicken, al pastor or bean and cheese for around $7.
Opening a new restaurant in today’s tough economy was a concern for Chamela’s owner.
Although business had been a little slower initially, it has begun to pick up.
In fact, lunchtime has become a busy time for the Chamela Grill thanks to ULV students and local businesses.
“I wish business was better but it’s been better than I expected,” Madrigal said.
In addition to mealtimes, Chamela also offers half-off selected appetizers during happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Madrigal hopes to expand the menu in the near future adding combination meal choices as well as other specialty Mexican dishes from his family’s own recipes.
Tennille Wright can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.