We were both having a very busy day on Friday and I figured after I made us nice grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch at home that we might head out for dinner. I was thinking of something fresh made with great flavor and a bit different . . turned out my wife was having the same thoughts and we agreed that it was CHIKO for dinner. We rocked up to the main entrance just after 6 pm and amazingly my wife parked her car within 10 feet of the front door.

The place was packed as we suspected it would be plus a bunch of customers were waiting inside for their take-out orders. A young dude placed menus in our hands within seconds of us entering . . these guys are switched on to good & fast service ! I love the food here but sadly it’s been a fair while since we’ve been here. I checked earlier on Instagram and they said they had hazy IPA’s . . my preferred liquid gold. So we fronted up at the counter to order after deciding on our dinner items.

A cheery young lady name Danyll took our order for Chicken Spring Rolls, Shrimp & Toast ( a new menu item ) . . both appetizers and an entree of the sensational Orange-Ish Chicken ( we had to have it ). I found a Modern Times “Orderville” Hazy – Mosaic IPA in the self serve cold bin below the service counter with the help of a staff member. Lookin’ good here ! My God we even scored the same table as last time just inside the front entrance out of the draught. There were new customers walking in the door every 15 seconds . . these guys are rockin’ ! My hazy IPA tasted great and before we knew it the Chicken Spring Rolls plus dipping sauce arrived on our table. Love ’em . . don’t know what’s in that sauce but it’s great.

Shrimp & Toast.

The new menu item…..Shrimp + Toast hit our table in a huge metal bowl……Eric the restaurant GM & Head Chef recommended it when I spoke with him earlier. What a huge serve with stacks of pan grilled shrimp and 2 big halves of Ciabatta Toast to scoop it up with. It was soooo delicious ! We were having a nice chat with a married couple at the adjacent table. They were here because they got tired of waiting for a table at Herb & Sea up the road…..over a 2 hour wait to get a table.

Orange-Ish Chicken.

Who cares . . the food here is probably better ! Our humongous serve of Orange-Ish Chicken came with dipping sauce plus a huge bowl of fluffy White Rice. Ha ha my wife barely touched it because the Chicken Spring Rolls and Shrimp + Toast had filled her little tummy. I’m knocking back my nice hazy IPA and chomping away on Orange-Ish Chicken . . gee I have missed the tasty food here ! So I pretty much demolished all of the crunchy chicken pieces and thought . . maybe some dessert !

I had a quick chat again with Eric the GM /Chef and he reckoned I would love the Sesame Custard. So back to the cashier desk and lovely Danyll to order dessert. Within a couple of minutes this huge metal bowl came out to our table. There was a lot going on in that bowl and I got stuck into it. Very unique combinations of all sorts of things with lots of tantalizing flavor bursts. Wow was I full or what ! This place really knows how to kick butt with fast friendly service and food with incredible flavor !

Restaurant Details


101 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024


(760) 230 1076

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About the Author

Picture of Michael Burke

Michael Burke

I'm an expat Aussie ( now a naturalized American citizen ) who moved to Southern California in 2006 with my American born wife Sherri. I like to write reviews about the most memorable restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, brew pubs and anything new that we find in our travels. I particularly look for excellent food & beverage consistency, good value for money plus friendly service.

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