Chaya Downtown ** 1/2
LOCATION525 S. Flower St., Los Angeles; (213) 236-9577 www.thechaya.com.
AMBIENCESophisticated, 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.
SERVICENot very intuitive: too much restaurant speak.
PRICEDinner appetizers, $9 to $14; crudo, $14 to $16; pastas, $17 to $21; main courses, $18 to $35; dessert, $5 to $9.
BEST DISHESTai 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 LISTWide-ranging but not very adventurous and on the high side. Corkage fee, $20.
BEST TABLEOne along the banquette or a booth on the patio.
DETAILSOpen 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.