Chyll is full of delicious surprises

What’s a cross between an ice cream parlor, American diner and an Asian food court? Chyll Rolled Creamery and Boba in Castaic.

Anyone familiar with the Valencia location knows that Chyll serves up dozens of fabulous bobas and fun ice cream concoctions with names like “Cereal Killer” and “I Ain’t Go No Thai for That.” What you may not know is that the newly opened Chyll in Castaic also has an extensive menu of unique Vietnamese and Asian fusion dishes that’ll blow your mind.

Walk into the former Telly’s Drive Thru space and admire the warm wooden interior accented with modern metal touches. Sit on a padded leather stool at the counter to watch ice cream being rolled like thin crepes into little bundles of creamy heaven before being stacked into a cup, cone or atop a waffle. Inhale the savory scent of meat and veggies being grilled before grabbing a big, comfy booth to enjoy your meal.

Chyll Creamery owner and chef Sarah Tramondo poses with The BBQ Beef Short Ribs at her Castaic Restaurant.

You’ll be greeted by friendly staff, including the seemingly tireless owner, Sarah Tramondo, who created the menu. A former beauty industry executive, she still looks incredibly put together despite working long hours at both the front and back of the house.

Tramondo, who hails from Vietnam, is one of 10 children born to a mother who ran a restaurant and a father who was very particular. “My dad would not eat a dish if it was missing just one thing. That’s where I learned to perfect my food,” she said.

That means no high fructose corn syrup, no MSG and only the highest quality ingredients at Chyll, where meats are marinated for up to 24 hours and bones are boiled for two days to create the most flavorful broth for Tramondo’s stellar pho ($10.75 to $12.95).

You’ll want to start with a cold drink ($3.75 to $4.75) and add boba (50 cents) since Tramondo insists on making the big tapioca balls from scratch every four hours, resulting in perfectly soft, slightly chewy honey-infused spheres.

There are seven lemonades and 10 teas to choose from. The Thai Tea is sweet, bold, refreshing, and downright delightful with the boba, and makes a fantastic foil for Tramondo’s take on Asian street food and grilled specialties.

Chicken Wings at Chyll are so delectable, there’s no dipping sauce required.

To start, the plump spring rolls ($7.25) are packed with tender shrimp, crisp spinach, mint and cilantro, decadent bits of pork, and crispy wonton noodles for a welcome bit of crunch. Dip into the homemade peanut sauce for a cool kaleidoscope of flavors and textures.

Chyll Chicken Lettuce Wraps ($8.50) feature savory ground chicken layered atop elegant sheets of romaine lettuce with a surprise bit of sweet and spice from apple and jalapeno slices.

The Chicken Wings ($8.75) are amazing – moist, yet crisp, with a sweet and spicy glaze. Topped with a mound of friend shallots and garlic, these wings are absolutely delectable — no dipping sauce required.

If you’re a noodle fan, the Garlic Noodles with Chicken ($11.50) are a must. Think chunks of juicy, savory dark meat chicken cascading over a tangle of luscious oiled egg noodles that are somehow tender and crispy at the same time.

You also can’t go wrong with the BBQ Beef Short Ribs ($14.25), served in a generous mound atop a sizzling plate with a pile of fluffy steamed jasmine rice. The grilled meat is permeated with hints of soy and garlic, with just the right ratio of fat for melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness.

BBQ Beef Short Ribs melt in your mouth with soy-infused goodness

Of course, you’ll have to end the meal with ice cream. While you can’t go wrong with any of the traditional flavors like chocolate or vanilla, if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, try something new, like The Incredible Hulk, available in a cup, shake, waffle taco or bowl, Hong Kong Waffle, or The Whole Enchyllada ($6.25 to $7.75).

The ice cream’s green hue is derived from pandan, a plant known as the vanilla of southeast Asia, while the purple comes from ube or purple yam. Both have a mild, vanilla-esque flavor which meld beautifully when served “Whole Enchyllada” style atop a warm waffle, festooned with big puffs of whipped cream, and sprinkled with toasted coconut and nuts. It’s a lot of fun to eat and definitely enough to share.

Chyll also offers breakfast daily, with classic diner options like Belgian Waffles and Scrambled Eggs ($9.95 to $12.95), with more unusual options including a Banh Mi Breakfast Sandwich featuring over easy eggs, Chinese sausage, cucumber, pickled carrots, daikon radish, cilantro, jalapenos and house mayo ($10.25) or a rolled pandan or traditional pancake ($12.95), stuffed with low fat yogurt, granola and topped with organic maple syrup.

Like just about everything at Chyll, including the ice cream and sauces, the granola is made in-house with a lot of care by Tramondo and her staff, whom she personally trains to recreate her recipes.

The payoff comes when her customers are happy.

“I love to see people enjoy my cooking,” said Tramondo, who’s lived in Castaic for 17 years. “I hope Chyll becomes part of the community, a place where everyone can come hang out, enjoy our food, and talk about their day.”

Chyll Creamery and Boba, 31703 Castaic Road, Castaic. Open Sunday to Thursday, 7 am to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday, 7 am to 11 pm. 20 percent discount for first responders. For more information, visit www.chyllcreamery.com or call (661) 702-1774.

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