Chaya Downtown, with its hip chandelier and revealing windows, served mass-appealing rolls during the introduction of its happy hour. After nearly a year, and a menu addition, things are on the up and up at this restauant surrounded by downtown high rises.

Chaya Downtown Beer Garden Menu Chaya Downtown Yaki Skewers

The newest addition to the space though, is the “beer garden”. There is a Japanese teppan master grilling it up ala Rick Bayless, and the beer flow freely, just like a German beer patio. The skewers are all $2 and happy hour ends at 7pm. Out of that menu, the steam mussels and poke were surprising hits, with nary a knarly chunk of remainder fish used in the albacore poke. The poke was lightly dressed & the seaside flavor profile fits the beer garden intentions.

Chaya Downtown Albacore Poke Chaya Downtown Sake Steamed Mussels

All the Happy Hour cocktails are still $5, but the bar features a more densely populated menu that is more thoughtful than the generic rolls (still available) than previous sampled. The entire bar menu is offered all evening, best everyone should be excited the Happy Hour cocktail prices has been extended into closing as well!

The lamb albondigas were covered with sauce and cheese, making the side sauce unnecessary. The kobe short rib melt was a deconstructed grilled cheese sandwich with crostinis served on the side, perfect for the carbophobes. The best thing of the evening though, were the grilled octopus legs over grilled eggplant. Though the octopus wasn’t tender, it offered meaty texture that tames hunger. Everyone’s grilling octopus, right now, but sour strips of eggplant pops versus the heavy cheesy neighboring dishes on the table.

While there is report of Chaya Venice’s Happy Hour changing for the worse, everyone downtown should be glad Chaya Downtown borrowed the older brother’s suit for a much better fit. Finally, all branches are celebrating Chaya’s 10 year anniversary with a $20.10 lunch prix fixe until April 30th.

Chaya Downtown
Chaya Brasserie in Los Angeles

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