David's Chili House - Azusa
So, after visiting a friend in Azuza a couple of weeks ago, I happened to be driving down Azusa Avenue towards the freeway when I saw a sign that said "David's Chili House". Always the chili-head, I turned around and drove into the driveway. In the window were several pictures of fried shrimp, teriaki chicken, chili burgers - kind of an odd array of offerings. Intrigued, I walked inside. Nice, bright, clean space in a stripmall boasting a donut shop and taqueria. It was after 9pm and I was the only one in there. I was greeted warmly by the owner, Debbie. She asked if I wanted chili chips or chili bowl. I opted for the chili chips. Turns out she wanted me to try her chili (she is very proud of it) and was offering me a sample. I was pleasantly surprised. The chili was really good. Had a nice kick to it. She said it was her great-uncle's recipe and they kept it exactly the same all these years. I started talking to her and she said that it had only been open for 1 or 2 weeks and they were starting to get a steady stream of customers - many of them repeats.
I was looking at the nice menu on the wall - complete with colored pictures (I love that) and knew what I was having the second I noticed it - David's Chili Spaghetti: spaghetti, chili, cheese, onions and pickles on the side for (get this) $3.95!! YES! $3.95. I could not believe it. I grabbed a Strawberry soda from the cooler and was ready to go.
While waiting for my order, I talked a little more with Debbie (and her brother) and mentioned the odd assortment of items that they offer (said much nicer than that, of course): chili- burgers (with cheese $2.55), fries, dogs, spaghetti, chips and fried shrimp, fish, pot stickers, egg rolls, chicken, beef teriyaki, spicy pork, all as combos or plates with rice, salad, potsticker and eggrolls. Fish tacos - all kinds of things that you do not usually find on one menu all at once! She said that her family has been in the restaurant business for a long time and her brothers have a restaurant in East (?) LA and they sell the teriaki-styled items. She said that she always wanted to do something with her uncle's chili but also picked the biggest sellers from the other restraurant and added those to her menu as well. Sounded good to me.
My order arrived pretty quickly and was served in a large bowl. Not a HUGE offering, but very substantial for the $3.95 you are paying! And it was really good. I am from the school of chili spaghetti from Bob's Big Boy and still get it every time I go there, so I loves me my chili spaghetti. This one was very good. REALLY, really good, actually. Now that I think of it, I think I actually like it better than Bob's - and for $3.95 vs the $8 you pay at Bob's. I can't get over that price, if you hadn't noticed. I told her she needs to raise her prices. She said that she wants people to eat her chili and that is why her prices are so low. The teriaki combo is $5.99 and the Chicken & Fish or Shrimp combo is $7.99 so the real deal here is the chili, but while I was eating some other people came in and ordered the teriyaki and the spicy pork and they said they really like it.
If you are in the area, you should definitely try it. I think you will like it!! Thanks!
David's Chili House
319 S Azusa Avenue (just north of the 210, directly across the street from In N Out)
Azusa, CA 91702
Mon-Sat 10-10 (closed Sunday)
Thank you WildSwede for a wonderful review. I love chili and always order it whenever I spot it on a menu, especially during the Fall/Winter months. Living in the San Fernando Valley, I tend to go to either Chili John's in Burbank or Chili My Soul in Encino - both very good. I'll have to try David's next time I'm in Azusa. Thanks for the rec.
I think Azusa and the environs make for some great meals at a good value for those of us so inclined for that, my husband and I met there ( butlong ago) working at the same company, and lunches were fun. Lots of mom and pop places compared to many areas of the SGV. I worked with people that lived on streets where they grew up, knew every neighbor and were somhow related to many of the others.
I still go back to Rays Tepayac (on Azusa Bl next to the old Guitar Center across from the new relocated Guitar Center) as often as I can, and I think people have posted about the Chicken and Ribs place right by Azusa Pacific U, both of these places are just places I wish I could relocate to my neighborhood so I could eat at them both once a week!
I really need to explore Azusa more. Went there for the first time to eat at Dino's Chicken several months ago and it was wonderful. My friend says that the Birria at the taqueria next door to David's is really good and it is her sons' favorite place for carne asada tacos.
One more thing about David's Chili - they have the beans separate from the chili which I appreciate as the beans do not get all mushy.
Wife and I tried it this weekend and it was great. I had a bowl of the chili with beans and was surprised at how spicy it was. My wife had the chicken and vegetable bowl and it was really good. For the price, this is a great place and Debbie, the owner, is really friendly. She asked how we heard about the place and we told her about chowhound. She was amazed that her new little business was getting good publicity online.
Thanks for the rec.