Venice, CA 90291
*Additional locations in Beverly Hills, Downtown LA, & San Francisco
Parking: Metered Street Parking or Public Parking lots, various prices
Sun. & Mon.,5pm to close; Tues.-Sat., 5-7pm, $6 on a very limited drink selection, but many appetizer specials at $4 or $5
Repent your sins and get to the west side! Chaya is the place to be on a Sunday night.
When my friend & I arrived, we had to put our name on a list for a seat… even at the bar. Happy hour takes place in the bar, lounge, & sushi bar only. There is a clear line between bar area and restaurant so no confusion like other happy hours. Luckily, our wait was about 5 minutes.
Upon perusing the happy hour menu, we ordered up a bunch of appetizers even before our drinks. We went for the tofu & mizuna miso soup, spicy tuna roll, spicy tuna tartar, & albacore sashimi salad. Every time we thought we were done with food, we went on and ordered something else because everything was so damn delicious.
As for the drinks, that part of the menu wasn’t so happening. There are only two (yes two!) drinks that are on happy hour special: The Slingchi Martini & The Juicy Infusion, both $6. I can understand a limited drink special if a liquor company is sponsoring the bar or happy hour, but that was the not the case. All other drinks were full price. I had a $10 glass of cabernet and my friend had a $6 Kirin beer.
Drink prices aside, the service was on point, so speedy that at first we thought they were trying to turn over the tables at an alarming rate. After a bit, we realized that there was no rush, but that our server really was on her game. In fact, I think she might have been the only server for the whole area, which is quite impressive if true. She even automatically split our bill!
The crowd here was quite diverse. We spotted dates, pairs of friends, guys watching the game, groups of girls gossiping, etc. All ages, all ethnicities. If there’s ever a need to meet anyone for any reason on the west side, you definitely can’t go wrong with Chaya.
Rating: 4 Martinis