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Chilango reopening??? (SD)

Early this morning in Hillcrest, some workers descended on the former Chilango restaurant space that became the sushi place when Chilango closed. They took down the sushi sign, and reinstalled the Chilango sign. There is no information posted at the door. A peek inside revealed that the black and white interior of the sushi restaurant is still intact. So, all of us who loved Chilango and mourned its closing may be in for a treat...

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  1. This may be the happiest day of my life!

    1. Is it possible that the sushi dump's sign was simply covering the Chilango's sign and removing the sushi sign merely uncovered the Chilango sign?

      I'd hate to have my hopes dashed...

      1. Was in the area and now have confirmation! They are open! Yay! 50% off all dishes this week and next... :)

        1 Reply
        1. re: kare_raisu

          Are they open for lunch as well as dinner like they were before they closed?
          This is cause for celebration!

        2. So excited!!! Going tomorrow night for dinner!

          1. Very cool. I'm there tomorrow night too!

            1. Fantastic news! Chilango's was my favorite San Diego restaurant!

              1 Reply
              1. re: dimsumgirl

                Hopefully the food quality is the same as before. I'm definitely going to try to go soon. If anyone eats there in the meantime please report back.

              2. Tried to go tonight--it is not yet open. But it is for sure back!

                1 Reply
                1. re: jturtle

                  Drove by last night also, but they were super closed. Hope they open soon.

                2. Does anyone have a phone number? Is it open for lunch/ take-out? Can't wait to go back!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: dimsumgirl

                    The phone number is 619-294-8646, open daily 11 am-10 pm, closed on Sunday.

                    1. re: JeffSD

                      Just called and confirmed they are open. Although the hours the lady told me on the phone are 11-9, not 11-10. In either case, I can't wait to go back. She told me the menu is the same as before, hopefully the quality is as well.

                      1. re: mliew

                        I called yesterday but got no one on the line, and they were closed. But they are open today? Are they open from now on?

                      2. re: JeffSD

                        I called and left a message and the same lady that spoke to you called me back to confirm that they are open. I am sending my daughter there to check it out today. I will be in San Diego a month from now and Chilango's will be my first stop.

                    2. Comeon....you guys are killing me!

                      One of my big Chowhound regrets is that I never made it to try Chilango before it closed, even though when I am in town for work I am usually in Hillcrest, AND have relatives who live a few blocks away...so I was so excited to see this post! Please, someone post about the food soon, so I can go book a Southwest flight! :-)

                      1. We had lunch at Chilango's today. We ordered two lunch entrees and split a dessert. Another poster was reportedly told the menu was the same as before, but I'm not so sure about that. It has been a while, but the current menu seems differentmaybe more interesting in some ways, while still emphasizing regional specialties from Mexico City and elsewhere.

                        The less adventurous of our entrees was the Pescado empapelado, with fish, shrimp, thyme, tomatoes, onion, and garlic steamed together (probably in foil) and topped with queso Chihauhua. It was good with a strong garlic flavor. The more adventuresome entree was the Chile en nogada, which is a large poblano chile stuffed with ground sirloin, raisins, roasted almonds, and topped with walnut sauce. I'd read about this dish but never tasted it. The waitress warned us that it was very sweet and very sweet it was, too sweet for my taste but my companion totally loved it.

                        For dessert, we split a homemade flan, the only dessert offered at the moment. It was an overly elaborate preparation and presentation, with chocolate, caramel, and (I think) butterscotch drizzled on the plate in a grid pattern around the flan. The sauces were very very sweet together and overpowered the flan itself.

                        We had jamaica as a beverage, nicely presented with hibiscus flowers bunched on top of the ice. It was a pretty very sweet jamaica -- overall this was a very sweet lunch.

                        A few other things of note here. The half-off entrees discount in effect this week and next that another poster noted applies ONLY if you order alcohol with your meal. For the time being, it's cash only, no credit cards. The table decor from Sushi Teriyaki remains -- black and white tablecloths covered with a very shiny piece of plastic. There was one friendly waitress in the room but no other staff evident during our time there. With three tables occupied at 1 pm, she was not overtaxed.

                        Obviously it may take a little time for things to settle in here. Overall, I wasn't as elated with this lunch as I'd like to have been, but we'd definitely go back -- there are several other dishes I'd like to try.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: JeffSD

                          JeffSD, I was there at 1 PM yesterday so were Jim and Diane Strain ;-). The Strains were at the table against the wall by the front door and my friend and I were in the corner back by the kitchen. Great minds think alike. We did not order alcohol but were given the 50% discount. I'm pretty sure that the jamacia is not house made and comes out of a BIB/soda dispenser, which would account for the sweetness. The menu does, indeed, appear to be identical to the one that was in place at the time Chilango's originally closed. I know the menu in the menu jacket is the same, the insert with some specials on it might be a little different.

                          I agree with you that the food wasn't quite up to preclosure levels and that they've got some cooking bugs to work out. I'm willing to go back as well and hope they can get back into the swing of things quickly.

                          1. re: DiningDiva

                            I went over the weekend and the deal was 50% off if you order a drink. The drink does not need to be alcohol, you can order a soda if you want.

                            I had the Pescado Empapelado as well and thought it was good although the fish was a bit on the watery side (maybe from the vegetables). The thyme was all mixed in with the cheese and I couldn't really taste much of a thyme flavor.

                            I agree with DiningDiva that the food quality doesn't seem to be as good as right before they closed, although I had only been twice before so its hard for me to really say since I ordered something different each time. Maybe I'll go again in a couple weeks and see if the quality has improved.

                            1. re: mliew

                              Well, I guess we got overcharged or ripped off, because as I said above we paid full price for our lunch and we did order drinks. Too bad we didn't keep the receipt -- if we had I'd go back and ask for a partial refund (and have another meal)!

                        2. Went back to Chilango's for a second time since they reopened, for lunch on Saturday. Not very promising.

                          My friend loves mango and really wanted to order the guacamole with mango appetizer. So we did. Imagine our surprise when it was served with chips that were natural, aquamarine, and a reddish orange in color!!! We looked at each other and totally laughed. "Dyed," he said to my disbelief. I guess I've led a pretty sheltered life, but I've never ever seen dyed tortilla chips before. Anyway, the guacamole was served with diced mango on top -- I guess we were thinking that somehow it would be incorporated into the guacamole itself. So, gently dipping an aquamarine chip into it, it proved utterly tasteless. The chips were tastless -- no trace of salt or other flavor, the mango not quite ripe, and the guacamole flat and tasteless. So, aching for this to taste like something, we asked for salt and pepper and seasoned it so that it tasted like salt and peppered guacamole.

                          Then we ordered the pollo con champiƱones y perejil (chicken with mushrooms in a "delicious" parsley sauce). The chicken itself was excellent, but the green parsley sauce did not have one hint of anything tasty or spicy in it and left us wanting, so we added salt and pepper to that too.

                          We had been looking forward to a MEXICAN lunch and we felt we had just had A lunch.

                          THIS time, however, we did get the 50% off entree discount.

                          1. I was elated to hear that Chilango had reopened. Went Thursday at noon expecting a line. I was surprised that we were the only diners and remained so for a long lunch. I too, was surprised by the tricolore chips; I had seen those only at tourist places in or near Old Town. I do like their salsas.

                            Just before they closed I had been impressed with the pear and shrimp relleno. So I ordered that. It was very good; the combination of sweet and hot is wonderful. But it was a little too sweet, heavy on pear and light on camarones, and not as interestingly spiced as I remembered. My friend had a big chunk of pork in a red sauce. He liked it; I didn't taste it.

                            I assumed that we would be charged full price since we had only nonalcoholic drinks and was pleasantly surprised when the check arrived with half-price entree charges. Even if the food is not (yet?) up to speed, this is interesting high-quality Mexican food at bargain prices. I'll be back.

                            1. Went by last night around 8 to check if it was open, and the place was packed. Didn't eat, since I had just finished dinner.

                              Can anyone recommend any entrees? I got a menu, and a lot of it looked very unfamiliar, but interesting. I want to try it out, but some of the stuff sounds weird.


                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ekomega

                                I was there when they first reopened, the menu was identical to the one when they closed. It does have some interesting stuff on it.

                              2. Now that they have been reopened for about a month, has anyone gone back recently to see if the quality has improved? I think most people (including I) seem to have noticed that the quality is not nearly as good as it was pre-closure.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: mliew

                                  Ok, what's the latest concensus? Has anyone been there lately? Any reports? Everyone is so excited about taco trucks, etc., what happened to the enthusiasm over Chilango?

                                  1. re: P Macias

                                    Tonight was my first visit there, so I can't say how it compares to the way it was.

                                    I started out by ordering the Caldo de Verdura--"hearty; yet light celery-tomato broth, spinach, carrots, zucchini", but looking at the menu now, I see that she instead brought me the Sopa deTortilla Vegetariana--"light tomato broth, epazote herbs, onion, roasted garlic, topped with tortilla strips, fresh avocado, Panela cheese". Very flavorful and excellent.

                                    For the main course, Pollo Asado Encacahuatado--"Grilled chicken sauteed in a cashew and peanut sauce prepared with guajillo, tomato, garlic, and onion". Also very good, if a bit rich. I also asked for a taste of their mole poblano--I might get that next time, although the roasted poblano with all the fruit stuff (Chile en Nogada Lizeth) mentioned above by JeffSD looks great too.

                                    Total cost less tip, appx $16. Great value. They have some dinner specials at $8 that look good too.

                                    I'll be back, but unfortunately not soon, as I live in Las Vegas and only make it to SD occasionally.