17612 E 17th St
Tustin, CA 92780
Listing on Yahoo! Local
Listing on Ask.com's Citysearch
UPDATE: This location has closed.
No More Mr. Nice GuyI think I'm known on this blog as being the nice guy, maybe too nice, often perceived as being afraid of pointing out anything negative about any place I eat at. I will freely admit that I am generally positive in my reviews but it's not exactly out of fear of offending somebody or some restaurant as it is that I realize that one bad item or one bad service experience at a particular restaurant may very well be a fluke, an isolated incident, a random occurrence per se, that is not representative of that restaurant's overall way of doing business. If you get something that tastes bad or you have a problem with the service then there's nothing wrong with bringing it up to the management and getting it cleared up but I do think there's something wrong with not saying anything about it to them and then posting it all over the Internet. The restaurant may have a hard time living down something that was an isolated incident.
Or if there is a food item you didn't like there may still be other items on the menu that you would like if you just gave them a try. I have seen people write off a restaurant based on not liking one item. Sometimes I have seen these people go later, with some degree of persuasion, back to the same restaurant and try something different and then be converted to the place but some of these people dig in their heels, refuse to go back and miss out on things they would've enjoyed. I've also seen people go back to a place they had previously written off, order the thing they didn't like before instead of trying different stuff, then entirely write the place off forever. Yes, it defies logic, but we humans can be funny people and I am not without my quirks.
This leads me to the fact that I recently found a coupon in the paper for Charo Chicken advertising that they are now serving Carne Asada and Barbacoa Steak (or Chicken) as meat choices in addition to their obvious: chicken. I clipped the coupon and a week or so later I went to the Irvine location excitedly waiting to try the new options. The clerk there though told me that the two new meats were only available at a couple test restaurants. So I ordered a Moe's Favorite Potato (I conveniently ignore the fact that they now call it "Moe's Famous Potato") and thoroughly enjoyed it, as I always do, and saved the coupon for later use.
A week or two later I picked up my slowly disintegrating coupon from my desk and headed to the Tustin location. This was one of two or three test restaurants so they had the meats so I ordered a Carne Asada tostada and a Barbacoa Chicken taco. The problem was the Carne Asada was too tough and dry to chew. I had a few little nibbles as it slowly dawned on me that I was engaged in a lost cause. I nibbled at the non-meat portion of the tostada then just dumped the whole thing and moved on to the taco. The barbacoa chicken in the taco was definitely more edible but I don't think chicken should ever be served in dry, crisp taco shells. Bad combo.
I have in no way been turned off of going to Charo Chicken. I do still love their Moe's Favorite Potato and the service has always been good but I'm thinking maybe they better stick with chicken as their signature meat. Has anybody else had an experience with the carne asada at Charo Chicken? If somebody can report a good experience I am entirely open to going there and trying it again.