Culver City is home to many fine restaurants, but one of my favorites is also nearby, the renowned Chaya Venice. Always on the cusp of everything culinary, this place is fond to feature many trendy concepts, to keep their restaurant top of mind. Here's the latest.
Until Sunday, May 5, 2013, diners at CHAYA Venice can savor a garlic-centric menu celebrating the 18th annual gastronomic “Spicy Garlic Fair.”
For those of you who are not garlic fans, the usual menu items from Executive Chef Yuichi Natori are still available, but you owe it to yourself to try some of these unique creations, which will be offered for dinner nightly throughout National Garlic Month. The garlic isn't overwhelming, which I appreciated. My social life is enough of a struggle.
Scottish Salmon Peruvian Sashimi with garlic aji amarillo ponzu, red onions, white corn ($15). We love sashimi, and the bulbs of garlic were a nice touch to this dynamite dish.
Spicy Brazilian Coconut Shrimp Soup ($14)-This was easy to devour, and quite filling, the garlic a subtle addition, not overpowering the dynamic flavors of the soup. More please!
Wild Arugula Salad with Roasted Farmers Market Carrots and Grogonzola ($11)-We both loved this salad, especially the roasted carrots. It’s a visual treat as well and full of surprises.
Both our entrees were good, but a huge hooray to the Grilled New Zealand Lamb Chop ($34), which wasn’t gamey at all. On the more mild side was the Garlic “Kari-Kari” Alaskan Halibut, which we enjoyed and plan to enjoy again tonight.
You can’t leave the restaurant without dessert, and we were spoiled with their fruit tart, and their vanilla bread pudding. No garlic in either of these!
For those of you who haven’t visited the restaurant, their history is a commendable one.
CHAYA dates back 400 years, owned and operated by the same Tsunoda family both in Japan and California. Today, there are two locations in Japan (Hikage Chaya and La Marée de Chaya) and four locations in California (Beverly Hills, Venice, Downtown L.A., and San Francisco).
Inside you’ll see a stew of groovy types, all with one thing in common-an appreciation of fine food with an innovative twist. Get there early to avoid the crowds.