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Return Visit to Los Chaparros Mexican Restaurant

When our gang goes out to celebrate a birthday, we usually try to pick someplace new that we haven’t been to before. Well, this past Friday we broke that tradition by returning once again to Los Chaparros Mexican Restaurant in Moi’ili’ili.

The first time we tried Los Chaparros back in February of 2007, we had such a favorable experience, that we unanimously decided it was worth a hana hou visit. Especially due to the fact that it was Diner A’s birthday on this occasion, and he really had da’ “ono’s” (appetite) for some good Mexican food.

Since our last visit, Los Chaparros has received many raves and accolades, including being voted people’s choice as one of Oahu’s Best Mexican Restaurants in the Honolulu Advertiser.

The dining room hasn’t changed much since, except for the addition of a  few ornamental decorations here and there…

Diggin’ the Sombreros on the Maneki Nekko. Them good luck charm cats must be happy with their festive hats on, as this restaurant continues to thrive. In fact, on this particular day, by the time we were well into our meal around the peak lunch hour, the place was almost filled to capacity. Good sign.

Here’s a view of the dining room, taken BEFORE the crowd arrived…

As mentioned earlier, by the time we were into our meal around noon’ish, almost all those previously open tables shown above were occupied, mostly with what appeared to be other groups of office workers.

So let’s check out the menu, starting with the appetizers…

Salads, Soups,  Sandwiches and Wraps…

The entree Combination Plates…

Los Chaparros Specialty Dishes…

Side Orders, Desserts, Beverages and Kids’ Menu…

Here’s the Specials…

And some featured desserts…

If you’re in the mood for a cocktail or two done South of the Border style, looks like Los Chaparros would be a great choice…

Getting us started, the complimentary Tortilla Chips ‘n Salsa quickly arrive at the table…

The light and crispy Tortilla Chips are made in-house…

The house Salsa is made with roasted red peppers, giving it a unique, earthy flavor undertone…

Also starting us off, we ordered two appetizers to share, starting with this Artichoke & Jalapeno Dip…

Los Chaparros – Artichoke & Jalapeno Dip: Warm and creamy dip made with a blend of cheese, artichokes, roasted green chiles and jalapenos. Served with French bread. $6.50

It’s a welcoming change to have this served with french bread instead of Tortilla Chips, lest we get “Tortilla’d out”. Ya’ know?

Here we have the Artichoke and Jalapeno Pepper Dip on the bread, along with a slathering of the house Salsa…

Them Mexican Flag toothpicks make for a nice, quick and easy ornamental garnish. lol

We also ordered the LC Garlic Fries….

Los Chaparros – LC Garlic Fries: deep fried potato cubes tossed with minced garlic, cilantro and cheese, served with our sour cream and salsa on the side. $6.00

A closer look at it…

Here’s my Chihuahua-sized appetizer sampler platter…

I put a few dashes of this here Tapatio Salsa Picante Hot Sauce on the sour cream…

So how’s the apps? Both the Garlic Fries and the Artichoke and Jalapeno Dip were EXCELLENT! Mucho Delicioso.

The fork-tender cubes of deep-fried potatoes were just smothered with melted cheese, garlic and parsley sprinkles. The garlic wasn’t as pronounced as I thought it’d be, yet enough where you knew it was there. The combination of that with the refreshing, spicy salsa and cool sour cream was a fantastic match.

Which has me thinking the next time I make a fully-loaded baked potato, I’m gonna’ try adding salsa on it. Sounds good!

The Artichoke and Jalapeno Pepper Dip also wasn’t as spicy-hot as I expected it to be, but still, the combination of flavors from the two chunky ingredients together when spread on the toasted bread was really ono.

My only complaint is that the LC Garlic Fries could have had a bigger portion. Yet, when you see how big the main entrees are, that must explain why they keep the appetizer portions on the smaller side.

Overall, I give these two appetizers a solid 4 SPAM Musubi. Not to forget those stellar Jalapeno Wontons we had the last time were here, which were also deserving of a 4 SPAM Musubi rating. Yum!

Now on to the main course, starting with Birthday Boy, Diner A’s plate…

Los Chaparros – Taquitos & Chimichanga Combo Plate. $13.50

Diner C’s plate…

Los Chaparros – Two Chimichanga plate (special) with Chicken and Vegetables. $10.00

Diner AC’s plate…

Los Chaparros – Fajita Salad: A flour tortilla bed with romaine lettuce, cheese, and sauteeed fajita veggies and meat (chicken). Topped with sour cream, guacamole and pico de gallo. Served with Ranch, Vinaigrette, Ranch or Chipotle Ranch dressing on the side. $10.00

Diner E’s plate…

Los Chaparros – Sope with Carnitas and Beef Tamal Combo Plate. $13.50

Last but not least, my plate…

Los Chaparros – Mole Enchiladas: Two cheese or chicken enchilatas (I ordered one with chicken and one with cheese) topped with rich mole sauce. Garnished with sour cream, chopped onions and cotija cheese. $13.50

Here’s a look inside my Mole-smothered enchiladas, where you can see the tender and moist shredded chicken in one, and oohey-gooey melted cheese in the other…

The Mole sauce was more subtle than I expected, being neither excessively spicy, savory or robust. It tasted “chocolatey” in a dark way, but even that part was rather tame. No question the Mole compliented the cheese and chicken filled enchilatas, just not as characteristic as I thought it’d be.

The Spanish Rice served here is also on the conservative side as far as spices and tomatoes. It’s also dry and loose, in a good way. It goes great with their delicious Mexican beans, which are also rather conservative in character, yet seasoned just right.

When eating everything together, including the beans, rice, salsa and greens and the mole enchilata in successive bites, it’s absolutely delicious.

Essentially you can easily do that by simply ordering the Los Chaparros Super Burrito, which takes basically everything on the plate, all rolled-up in one handy-dandy tortila. That’s What Diner A had the last time we were here.

As you can see, the portions of  Los Chaparros’ entrees are huge. Enough where most of us were stuffed and threw in the towl after about finishing just half the plate, leaving enough leftovers to take home for a whole nother meal later…

Enchilada “doggy bag”

Fajita Chicken salad “doggy bag”

Taquitos “doggy bag”

Mole Enchiladas “doggy bag”

Like the last time, owner Mario Baron was our server, while his wife Lisa ran the service counter, to which service was quick and friendly.

Rounding it up, on this visit everyone unanimously gives Los Chaparros a solid 3 SPAM Musubi.

Los Chaparros Mexican Restaurant
2140 S. Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96826
(808) 951+6399

Menu (<—click to download PDF; current as of 10/09)

Tasty Island Rating:


Related links:
Los Chaparros Mexican Restaurant – The Tasty Island
Los Chaparros Mexican Restaurant – Yelp User Reviews

P.S. What? No dessert!? What about a birthday cake? Well, immediately following that hefty main dish, we weren’t ready for dessert right after the meal, but after some rest we dug into a Chocolate and Haupia Pie from Ted’s Bakery (purchased at Times Supermarket on Beretania)…

Yes, Ted’s awesome pies are flown in daily all the way from Mexico. Nah, jus’ kidding. But the flag does add a nice touch! Ted’s Bakery is actually located on the North Shore of Oahu.

Witness the buttery-crispy-flaky pie crust, topped with a thick layer of creamy chocolate custard, then topped with an also creamy thick layer of coconut-based sweet haupia, and finally with evenly-piped whipped cream topping…

As always, AWESOME. Ted’s Pies ROCK. Haven’t had a bad one yet. When Thanksgiving comes around soon, you gotta’ try Ted’s Pumpkin Haupia Pie. Also AWESOME. My favorite flavor yet.

As if that weren’t enough, Diner D (you haven’t met him yet) shared this interesting Oreo Cookie chocolate cheesecake dessert his wife baked…

Oreo Cookie dessert did you say? Hai. It’s underneath as the foundation…

Here’s how it looks as you bite through the layers…

The chocolate on top is like a custard, while the doughy looking part in the center is cheescake.

Really rich, but really ono! Thanks to your wife, Diner D!

9 thoughts on “Return Visit to Los Chaparros Mexican Restaurant

  • October 18, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Pomai, aside from the regular Mexican food I enjoyed chicken mole. It different and the time to make it which saw in recipe make me appreciate it more. Not many people know it have chocolate in it. That one dish is really special. Now to find a Spanish restaurant that serve any dishes with chocolate it it too.

  • October 18, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Hey, Pomai. I don’t think the pictures are working.

  • October 18, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    Ricky, there’s still some issues in my server transfer with the PHP/MySQL database that need to rectify. Give it a few days and all should be going smoothly. On my side the photos are showing up just fine.

    Try clearing your browser’s cache and/or entire history, then click here: http://www.tastyislandhawaii.com. or here: http://tastyislandhawaii.com

    That might work for you.

    Kelike, the Mole sauce at Los Chaparros has very subtle tones of dark chocolate. Dark Chocolate and tender, moist chicken wrapped up in a soft tortilla? Who’d a thought?!!! I was absolutely 3-SPAM Musubi pleased with the dish.

  • October 19, 2009 at 10:29 am

    I’m so glad you covered this place, because I didn’t even know it was there. We love Mexican food and the only good place we knew of was La Bamba on Kapahulu.

    Definitely will give LC a try!

  • October 21, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Anyone else come across El Palenque on Kamehameha Highway in Wahiawa?

    We’re part-time residents of the Windward side (in California the rest of the time) and usually feel Mexican food deprivation after a couple of weeks. Oahu acquaintances (from Slow Food Oahu) steered us to El Palenque and it made a splendid lunch stop on the way back from the Waialua farmer’s market.

    Love the blog!

  • October 22, 2009 at 6:30 am

    MR Windward, honestly, I’ve never heard of El Palenque. The first place I think of when it comes to Mexican on that side of the island due to so much advertising they do is Cholo’s in Haleiwa. Thanks for the tip!

    Tony, pardon my inexperience with Mexican restaurants, but haven’t tried La Bamba either. Once again, thanks for the tip!

    Diner A, arriba!

  • October 26, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    I love this place. Their chile verde = win. I ate at Los Chaparros, then had the same dish at a place in Kaneohe (whose name escapes me at the moment), and it was no comparison. LC wins the chile verde battle, hands down.

  • October 27, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Was just watching a repeat of Dog the Bounty Hunter and one of his fugitives worked at Los Chaparros. They went in the restaurant to look for him and talked with the owner. At the end of the episode, the guy said he quit his job here because they weren’t paying him enough. LOL!


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