A friend introduced me to this restaurant, and we've been several times since then. It's one of those restaurants in an older shopping plaza that looks like a bit of a hole-in-the-wall, but turns out to be a real delight: authentic food, good service, and even good music.
Every item I've ordered here has been great. It tastes very authentic, and the Chihuahua cheese is a yummy addition. I like that you can order everything a la carte, as well as in combination plates. Even the soft tacos are really tasty.
The owner of the restaurant is very much present, and it's easy to tell he believes in service. If anyone's water glass is empty, he's sure to notice and even to fill it himself if necessary. All the servers have been very polite.
The owner has a tendency to offer people free tastes of tequila on the way out, especially if he recognizes them. He had a flavored tequila once which was very good.
They also have live music and dancing on the weekends. I've never been dancing, but I'd like to try it sometime. We have been there when they've had singers, which adds a fun extra dimension to the experience.
I've taken my parents, who grew up in southern California, and they approve... which is saying a lot. I highly recommend La Chata as a more authentic Mexican food experience than El Maguey or Chevy's just down the road.