Chaya Downtown – 10/7/10

Chaya Downtown
525 S. Flower St.
Los Angeles, CA 90071

I work downtown, and Chaya Downtown is in my regular rotation of lunch spots. I really enjoy their bento box, though it’s fairly steeply priced at $24. The box includes a meat, a fish, sushi and a salad. Surprisingly, you can substitute out the salad for an extra serving of meat or fish, something I always do. Chaya’s DineLA lunch menu had a few dishes that sounded pretty good to me, so a visit here was an easy choice.

Hawaiian Albacore Poke seaweed and sesame soy vinaigrette

This dish started the meal off well with its light, clean flavors. The vinaigrette added a nice acidity, while some chili oil presented a touch of heat. The fish was tender – I enjoyed the large chunks.

Soy Braised Angus Beef Short Rib wasabi mashed potato

This was one of the three entree options. The short rib was cooked beautifully – extremely tender and not overly fatty…I’m not sure how they did it. The wasabi mashed potatoes had a nice amount of heat, though it wasn’t as smooth and creamy as I would’ve liked.

Two Way Rice Bowl Shrimp Tempura Bowl and Tuna Sashimi Bowl

Another of the entree options was this rice bowl duo – tempura and a chirashi bowl of tuna.

Herb Poached Salmon sundried tomato puttanesca sauce, braised tuscan kale, fennel

The third entree choice was this salmon, which I didn’t try.

Profiterole Sicilian pistachio ice cream, valrhona chocolate sauce

I had high expectations for these profiteroles, made with pistachio ice cream. Perhaps unfairly, I thought of Bouchon’s excellent rendition. However, this was not Bouchon. The pastry was a little soggy and the ice cream, while good, didn’t have a very strong pistachio flavor. The chocolate sauce, which was supposed to be made of valrhona chocolate, tasted like Hershey’s chocolate sauce.

Green Tea Cup Cake green tea frosting

Greek Yogurt Sorbet fresh strawberry and mochi

I’m not a fan of tart frozen yogurt, so I didn’t really care for this. The sorbet was interesting, having the consistency reminiscent of frozen custard.

My Chaya meal started strong, but unfortunately disappointed with dessert. Overall it was okay, and for $22 a pretty decent deal. I likely will not be coming back during this DineLA stint though.

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