Restaurant Review #193: Cafe Orient, Chatsworth

Orange Chicken

When you're in the Northridge/Chatsworth area, there aren't a lot of unique dining options--almost every restaurant is a large, loud chain. Cafe Orient is an oasis in the desert, serving homemade Chinese and Vietnamese food in a hand-decorated, cozy, lavender setting. Despite being small, the restaurant was uncrowded enough that we were able to be seated right away. Fortunately, we made it there before the 9:00 closing time.

(Note: I wrote this last year and just discovered that I had never posted it. Hopefully Cafe Orient has not gone away since then. Drop me a line if you know anything.)

Charbroiled Beef

The orange chicken had a delicate orange flavor and was sweet without tasting candied. Rather, it tasted like it was actually made with the juice of an orange and wasn't laden with cornstarch, unlike most of the Chinese food I've eaten. The charbroiled beef was flavorful and tender, but unnecessarily greasy and didn't quite taste like Vietnamese food. Though the meat could have used more lemongrass flavor, the nuoc cham and rice made the dish addictively good.

Dining room

Overall, everything about the experience was hassle-free, even parking (there is a large lot in front). This restaurant is probably not your best bet if authenticity is what you're after, but for a comfortable dining experience with decent food, low prices, and uncannily fast service, Cafe Orient is a good choice.

Cafe Orient
20527 Devonshire
Chatsworth, CA 91311

Cafe Orient Hours:
Lunch 11am-2pm
Dinner 5pm-9pm
Closed Sundays
Cafe Orient on Urbanspoon


Chubbypanda said...

Yay! I can comment again. Hooray! =)

techfred said...

I've been coming here since it opened. I have yet to have a bad dish. Every dish is freshly prepared. The owner Dan is a great guy and goes out of his way to please you. He will even make you a special dish if you want. The only complaint I have are the 2 servers they have. These women have no people skills and belong working in a Deli or a Truck Stop.

Anonymous said...

thumbs up to this place :)

real friendly husband & wife owners

not alot of seating so it can get crowded

Anonymous said...

Small place with great food. I go there for the soup when I want to treat myself.

Rana said...

I agree with techfred. Today, I went to grab a takeout for lunch. The food was great, but the server was unfriendly, even grouchy at times. If it wasn't for the great food, I would never go back again.

Anonymous said...

They let the bad servers go, I think. Even if they didn't, you should go there. The soups are wonderful, the vegetarian entrees are fresh and delicious. I've been going for years, and I can't recommend it highly enough. I've never brought anyone there that did not fall in love with this place.

Curtis said...

Lost of poeple come here for the Vietnamese noodle dishes. But our all time favorite dish is the Green Papaya Salad with large charbroiled shrimp--hands down I'd put this on the Best Things I've ever eaten. One salad is plenty for 2, but I could eat two of them for a meal it's so good. A close runnerup is the seared ahi tuna steak over spinch--the ahi is almost raw in the middle, seared on the outside and just outstanding!
Heads up, this place is cash only.