Sunday, July 17, 2011

Outdoor Summer Beer Garden at Chaya Downtown

For the summer months, The Chaya in downtown has something special for you: an outdoor summer beer garden, complete with a robata grill, izakaya-style dishes, and of course, beer.

Miso Scallop Gratin
Sea Scallop Miso Gratin ($9)
Paper lanterns for that Japanese festival feel.
One of our favorites was the Soy Braised Short Rib Sukiyaki Style ($9). What came was not what we expected, but it was a delicious bowl of shredded braised short rib topped with melted cheese, served with toasted bread. The short rib was so tender and melts in your mouth.
Short Rib Sukiyaki Style

I love corn on the cob so I had to get the Grilled White Corn with Feta cheese ($5)
Grilled corn, feta cheese
This was good but the mayo was surprisingly spicy! A little too spicy for me, but I'd imagine most people would enjoy it.

The coffee BBQ Pork ($8) was pretty tender with a nice sauce lightly glazed.
Coffee BBQ Pork Ribs

Juicy Fried Oysters with Cilantro Aioli ($9)
Fried Scallops

As I mentioned, there's a robata grill set up outside, so there are plenty of grilled skewers, which are $2 each. We tried a bunch of them including Beef Tongue, shrimp, bacon wrapped date, and shiitake mushrooms. Make sure you try the beef tongue! I loved how tender it was, just like the beef tongue I remember as a child eating tongue stew.
Beef Tongue Skewer
I enjoyed the shrimp also, but the beef tongue is definitely the one that stands out in memory.
Shrimp, Bacon Skewers

The beer list when I went was still limited, though they are in the process of expanding it (I'm hoping for Hitachino). In the meantime, there are still great options. My favorite was the Echigo ($10) but you can also go slightly cheaper with the Orion ($7). There are cheaper options still with Kirin.
Echigo Beer

If you don't want beer, they have sake or soju-based drinks including the Sake Sangria ($6) and Soju Cape Cod ($6), or opt for a Sake flight ($12)
Sake cocktails
Chaya Downtown is centrally located for many of the downtown office and bank workers, but that area previously only has "fancier" dining options like Chaya's main dining room or Drago Centro. The Beer Garden, though, seems like a perfect spot for these workers to stop by after hours. It's a casual and fun space for the warm summer nights, with good food, and a growing beer list. Here's one for beer gardens!

Chaya Downtown
525 South Flower
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 236-9577

Disclosure: this meal was hosted



These look delicious! Great blog!

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