Last night we went to Chaya Brasserie for a friend's birthday. The birthday girl ordered the Dine About Town prefix menu. The other three of us had their bento box special, with one person getting the bento box prefix that included the soup and three wine pairings.
For their Dina About Town menu, Chaya served a carparccio, sea bass (or some white fish) with a mushroom vegetable ragout and rice cracker crust, and petite pastry as dessert. I had a taste of the carparccio and pastries and both were quite good, flavorful but not over powering. Within the pastry, the myer lemon bites were so tart and sweet, it was a perfect finish to a meal. I didn't have a bite of the main entree, but she said it was good. For $29.95 I think its a good deal at Chaya for the Dine About Town program.
In the bento box there was six items, three sushi style, three western style. There was a simple roll of some sort, tasted like a California roll, nice thick slices of tuna, include a fatty tuna, as well as citrus marinated salmon with pickled red onions. For the western dishes they were three slices of rib eye steak with mushroom, assorted cheese and fruit, and a white fish with mashed potatoes and assorted mushrooms. Overall the bento box was good, nothing spectacular, not like the nine bites at Azie when they first opened. The advantage is you get to have both sushi and other stuff, you don't have to choose between different style foods. The bento box was $25 while the bento box prefix with the soup and wine was $39.
Of the three wine pairings that came with the bento box, only one pinot blanc was good, the other two were bad. I'm sorry but I don't remember their names. I think one of the bad one is a Dry Creek pinot noir.
The asparagus soup with truffle oil and Dungeness crab was bland and underwhelming. By the sound of it, you would think it would be delicious, but it was very one dimensional, needed something else.
All of the desserts were excellent. We had a passion fruit cheesecake, ginger cake, petite pastries, myer lemon trio (parfait, gelee, angle cake) and a passion fruit sorbet and mango sorbet. The cheesecake was light and fruity, very mango-y. It also came with an ice cream of some sort topped off with bits of mango. It's not mango season so I don't know where they got mango that good. Every myer lemon dessert was excellent. Very tart and sweet at the same time, just the way I like it.
We had a bottle of 1999 David Bruce pinot noir. Good wine, not too tannic, good fragrance, easy to drink.
Overall I thought Chaya was decent, something nice to try but no need to return. For all four of us and our dinner, the bill came out to $285.
132 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA