Formatted with photos: http://www.twohungrypandas.com/2009/0...
First off, nope, the two Bentleys in front of Chaya Brasserie is not ours. We wish.
Chaya Brasserie is located in Beverly Hills off the ritzy Robertson Blvd. on Alden Ave. We usually avoid restaurants in the "rich," "celebrity," areas like Robertson or La Cienega because the ones we have tried have been overrated and not worth the money. But Evelina has been to Chaya many times for company lunches, and she swears that the fish and desserts are scrumptious.
The Decor: Chaya's decor is beautiful, popping, but also soft. On the walls, there are bold colored paintings and mirrors. In the middle of the dining area is a little garden with bamboo trees as tall as the roof. The atmosphere screams "hip and trendy" but also elegant.
Evelina started off with a Blended Mango Margarita ($12.00). It isn't on the menu, but our (cute, according to Evelina) waiter insisted that the mango margarita is the best. The mango and alcohol went well together because she could not really distinguish either taste. She did, though, get a slice of mango that confirmed, yes, this is a mango margarita.
After ordering our appetizer and entrees, we got bread to hold our stomachs. Nothing spectacular. In this case, bread was just bread with cold butter.
Unexpectedly, a sever brought us two small salads consisting of heirloom tomatoes, feta cheese, onions, and a drizzle of olive oil. There was a great contrast of flavors here with the sweet tomato and red onions coupled with the tangy feta cheese.
We ordered the Classic Tuna Tartare with Herbed Garlic Croutons ($14) as an appetizer. While the fish did not taste like it was sashami quality, Wesley thinks it was good enough for a tartare. Though the tuna is supposed to be the main part of this dish, we thought it merely added texture and that the avocado and crouton were the dominate flavors.
We each ordered our own entrees, but ended up switching half way because Evelina was not into her's. Wesley ordered the Miso Marinated White Sea Bass with Tamari Yuzu Beurre Blanc Japanese Eggplant & Broccoli ($28). This dish was our favorite of the night. The sea bass was firm, but literally melted in our mouths. Each bite of the sea bass was complemented by the light and sweet miso sauce. Under the fish was a piece of eggplant, as delectable as the sea bass. While we aren't big fans of eggplant, we think the tamari (a type of soy sauce) and yuzu (a Japanese citrus fruit) slightly changed and enhanced the flavors of the eggplant.
If Wesley sees mac and cheese on a menu, he will order it. Though it didn't really go with his dish, he ordered the Baked Macaroni & Fontina Cheese ($7). The mac and cheese didn't really stand out for him. It was good, but it wasn't memorable.
Evelina ordered the 8 oz. Grilled Center Cut Filet Mignon, Black Truffle Sauce ($36). She really enjoyed the sweet truffle sauce, but the filet mignon was not the most tender. It was a good steak, but she has had better. We definitely preferred the fish over steak. The entree also came with creamed spinach, which did not really go with the dish.
Evelina loves the desserts at Chaya. We ordered the Warm Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding Caramel Ice Cream. The dessert is lined with a thin layer of bread pudding with a caramelized top. Chucks of slightly melted chocolate chips compliments the pudding. Adding the ice cream to the warm bread pudding created a delightful contrast.
Evelina is still very much in love with the fish (she's had the cod before, too) at Chaya Brasserie. Wesley thinks the place was good, but he believes you can get the same quality food elsewhere for cheaper. With that argument, Evelina thinks Chaya is more worth it at lunch because you can get some of the same variations of the food for a lesser price.
Note: Valet parking is $5.50, but if you're going at night when most of the stores are closed, there is street parking.
8741 Alden Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90048