Hello, dear friends. My avocado is still a-go-going but I just haven’t been planning out the eats and photo-taking as well as I should be. Plus, I don’t think the Whole Foods salad bar or another post of Intermezzo needs to be added. I want to bring only what’s new and imperative. So yeah Chaya! This lovely little place was just remodeled and I waited for months to bring you the latest in vegan sushi. What is there to bring, you may ask? Frankly, not a whole lot of surprises. Which is why I did not go for the sushi, but for the wide array of special noodle and rice dishes. What I loved most was that every item on the menu had at least seven different ingredients, many focused on sea vegetables and macrobiotic darlings, such as burdock, daikon, lotus root and kabocha. Totally exciting yes!
Beautiful day in the gourmet (ghetto).
After much deliberation, I went with the Taku-Sui ($8) served with rice and miso soup. That's gyoza and tofu, zucchini, napa cabbage, snap peas, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, silver noodles, and mushrooms in a light broth and served with a ponzu citrus sauce. How could I resist! Alas, and this is the hardest part to write, I did not love it. The soup was bland and the potstickers were the same frozen ones my dad buys from the Asian market. It tasted like a mediocre version of something my mother makes for me when I'm sick. Granted, she does make a mean pot of soup.
I should've realized that noodles rarely satisfy me, and ordered one of their gorgeous fried dishes. Like this one above, for E. Why yes, that's a fried stuffed eggplant with satsuma potato, corn, hijiki, carrots, and soy beans. It looked amazing, though E said that without the flavorful sauce, the dish would have been just okay. But those beautiful layers seem like a culinary feat worth tasting for yourself. Move over, turducken.
To sum up, Chaya didn’t exceed my expectations, but there are more exotic dishes to try. For such beautiful, high quality food at such a low price, I will be back for another round.