Sunday, August 14, 2011

August is Garlic Galore at Chaya Venice

Garlic lovers, did you miss Gilroy Garlic Fest this year? If you did, you can still go a little garlic crazy at Chaya Venice this August, where they're offering special garlic dishes during their month-long Garlic Fair.

They have about ten garlic dishes, most of them not overly garlicky (except for the rib eye steak with 40-clove garlic sauce, or so our server told us. Mmm 40 garlic cloves ...)

After an amuse bouche of beets with orange and arugula, we started our garlic feast with Heirloom Tomato with Garlic Ice Cream and Fourme d’Ambert cheese ($13)

Heirloom Tomato, Garlic Ice Cream
Overall good, but the heirloom tomatoes were overshadowed somewhat by the smaller, sweeter tomatoes. I liked the garlic ice cream with the tomatoes, but the possibly even stinkier blue cheese masks the garlic a bit.

Next: Grilled Shrimp, country bread ($12)
Garlic Grilled Shrimp
It's a simple dish, with crisp shrimp. After you finish the shrimp, soak the bread in the garlic butter.

Baked Scallops, garlic butter, smashed purple potatoes ($13)
Garlic scallops
Soft scallops, less garlicky than the shrimp.

For entrees, we had the Sauteed King Salmon, garlic brown rice pilaf, asparagus, bok choy, sweet soy sauce ($27)
The salmon was cooked well - tender and moist. The garlic was strong in this pilaf, which I liked.

Garlic short rib "sukiyaki" with broccolini, carrot, potato, and cippolini onions ($26)
Short Rib "Sukiyaki"
The "sukiyaki" was actually served in a tagine and might be the least garlicky of all (despite the half bulb of garlic in the tagine). I'm not sure why it was called sukiyaki but nevertheless, we both really liked this dish, especially the tender short ribs with the slightly sweet sticky rice.

For dessert, they also have a garlic crème brûlée. Unfortunately I couldn't convince my dining companion to try it, so we went with their regular desserts ($9 each).

The Banana Banana Banana was layers of warm banana tart, banana ice cream whipped with berries, and chocolate covered frozen banana
I liked the bottom two layers but didn't care much for frozen banana. Our second dessert was the Apple Tart Tatin
Apple Tart Tatin
Out of the two, I preferred the apple tart tatin. There wasn't much by way of "tart" but we liked the caramelized apples.

The Garlic Fair is available for the rest of August. Go get your garlic on (but don't take your first date here!)

Chaya Venice
110 Navy St
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 396-1179
Chaya Venice on Urbanspoon

Disclosure: this meal was hosted.


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