Did you know that the Japanese family who owns Chaya have been restauranteurs for nearly four centuries? They started with a 'tea house' (apparently that's what Chaya 茶屋 means in Japanese) in Japan under a large shade tree, catering to weary travelers and their horses 390 years ago. Today, we can experience a version of that hospitality in Venice, CA in a modern setting of a neighborhood hangout that gives off the vibe that it's there to serve the community. Of traffic-worn commuters like myself and their metal stallions. And apparently Venice loves Chaya back - the two times I've been there, it's always been packed.
There is the unusual dual menu that customers have come to expect - sushi and European dishes with Japanese influence, but there's also special menus created around a theme, a main ingredient - rotating each year.
The idea is there are many dishes created around the featured ingredient - oysters, and you can choose a la carte from the special menu.
Oyster lovers can check out Oyster Food Fair at CHAYA Venice through March 3rd.
* Disclaimer: This meal was hosted
110 Navy St., Venice, CA 90291
Parking: Self-park in structure $4 with validation