May 20, 2009
Chaya Downtown ** 1/2
LOCATION 525 S. Flower St., Los Angeles; (213) 236-9577 www.thechaya.com.
AMBIENCE Sophisticated, comfortable downtown restaurant with bar, communal table, sushi bar, luxurious dining room and breezy patio. This fourth in the Chaya collection features crudo, sushi and appealing French-Japanese fare.
SERVICE Not very intuitive: too much restaurant speak.
PRICE Dinner appetizers, $9 to $14; crudo, $14 to $16; pastas, $17 to $21; main courses, $18 to $35; dessert, $5 to $9.
BEST DISHES Tai snapper with kumquat- chile relish, crunchy yellowtail, roasted mussels, grilled sardine, miso-marinated white sea bass, Tasmanian salmon in Pinot Noir sauce, chicken Dijon, prime beef rib eye in three peppercorn sauce, fallen chocolate cake, litchi sorbet.
WINE LIST Wide-ranging but not very adventurous and on the high side. Corkage fee, $20.
BEST TABLE One along the banquette or a booth on the patio.
DETAILS Open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:30 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Full bar. Valet parking in City National Parking Plaza garage, $5 at lunch; at valet stand on Figueroa between 5th and 6th streets, $7 at dinner with validation.
Rating is based on food, service and ambience, with price taken into account in relation to quality. ****: Outstanding on every level. ***: Excellent. **: Very good. *: Good. No star: Poor to satisfactory.
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