DTLA: Chaya Beer Garden is Back!
Last year, Chaya Downtown offered a beer garden in the summer but it was only on Mondays. Now the beer garden is back but it’s every week day (Monday through Friday) from now until September 2nd. It’s offered 4 p.m. to restaurant close.
Despite its name of a beer garden, I started with a sake flight.Chaya Downtown is also offering sake sangria and some great Japanese whiskeys. My favorite was the 18-year blended Hibiki.
We started with some light bites including spicy tuna stuffed shishito peppers, kimchi flatbread and grilled white corn with feta cheese. It’s always fun to see what Chaya would come up with. I enjoyed the peppers and corn quite a bit. It was amusing to see the ladies picking up the corn and eating it off the cob while the men actually cut the niblets off! I’m not sure what this says about us as a society but fresh summer corn should be enjoyed on the cob.
Next up, we had the sea scallops from the beer garden menu and the Kobe beef short ribs from the happy hour menu. I’m not sure where the fried oysters are from but they are great. Lightly battered and fried, they evoked lazy days at the beach.
Chaya is really great with beef. The short ribs braised with soy under izakaya items was a winner. The beef was very tender and I liked the melange of veggies.
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself ordering skewer and skewer. At only $2 a pop, it’s easy to get several orders. The offerings range from chicken, beef, shirmp and shitake mushrooms but the standouts were the bacon-wrapped dates and beef tongue which is marinated for hours.
My favorite dish that night though was the coffee BBQ pork. The coffee glaze wasn’t cloying and just the slightest dip in the hot sauce left the pork pleasantly spicy.
Chaya’s desserts are pretty spectacular. They make some of my favorite cookies in the city and I have loved the croissant bread pudding ever since I first had it over at Chaya Brasserie in Beverly Hills. But this night’s stunner was the fallen chocolate cake with the warm, gooey, decadent center.
Chaya Downtown – beer garden until September 2nd
525 S. Flower Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071