Miss Irene teased her take on Chaya Downtown last month in her neighborhood roundup, praising the newcomer as "very sophisticated" and "very appealing," especially for downtown. This time around, The Irenation continues to be amazed that something "so glossy and prosperous" could be packed in times like these, in an area that was once a no-man's land. All in all, she loves the urban vibe, this one:
This, the fourth Chaya in this country (the third is in San Francisco) reads immediately as a big-city restaurant that's both sophisticated and comfortable. The Japanese-French menu is appealing without being clichéd. The managers are real pros, alert to details. And the kitchen is operating on all cylinders.SIV saves her most encouraging words for the fish dishes, especially the crudo options. In fact, as far as the menu goes, the only missteps she mentions are fairly minor, be it a salad dressing hiccup or lamb seasoning overload. In the end, it's a 2.5-star stamp for the latest Chaya. Oh, and we enjoyed the take on the chandelier: "this thing rocks." [LAT]
THE ELSEWHERE: The Find goes to Torrance to sing the praises of Torihei, LA Mag's Patric Kuh hit up Craftbar, the OCR tries Hawaiian-Japanese fusion at Island Grill, the OCW stops by Greens Cafe in Irvine, DigLounge did the Bourdeaux Dinner at Sunset Marquis and lastly, Losanjealous ventures to Chango's for cheap sandos.