"Chaya Can Stand Under my Umbrella"



"Barney's Beanery"

"The Cat & Fiddle"

"Nic's Martini Lounge"


"Six Degrees of Belmont"

"The Hudson"

"The Lobster"


"Been There, Den That"

"La Boheme"

"St. Felix"

"Chaya Can Stand Under my Umbrella"


Dear Love,


Black leather motorcycle jacket, check. Stylishly-torn black leggings, check. Silver studded black suede boots, check. String of pearls, check. No, I wasn't going to a Madonna look-a-like contest, but I was going to the Rihanna concert at the Staples Center. I had been looking forward to this concert for a few months and knew that the night needed to start with a happy hour just as badass as the woman I was going to see perform live. I chose my favorite happy hour location of all time: Chaya Downtown.



I was first introduced to Chaya Downtown by a friend early this year. We took the metro from Hollywood and Highland and arrived about 15 minutes later, easy. Not only was I impressed with the elegant pop asian decor, including a chandelier made entirely of brightly colored plastic trinkets, but the fact that their happy hour runs every day from 4 p.m. until closing! When I opened the menu I was hooked and that's why I've been a recurring character here ever since.


This time, with my girls Samantha and Marina, all decked out in Rihanna-edged chic, we clicked our way to the last table for three in the bar. We all licked our lips over and over, being seduced by the menu. All items on the happy hour menu, food and cocktails, range from $5 to $ hot. We wanted everything, but only a special few would make the cut.


As soon as we saw our waitress, Samantha and I requested raspberry bellinis and when they arrived, they were sweet, bright and bubbly, much like ourselves (wink). Our dark-haired trio toasted, two bellinis and a diet coke, to our friendship and a night of hopeful adventure.


A buffet of miniature gourmet meals soon licked lips right back at us. We started with the inside out albacore roll, which had the freshest flavors. I judge good sushi by freshness and whether the textures melt in your mouth or not. This roll rocked and melted very well.


If I were to describe everything we ordered in full detail this would be an essay, not a letter, so I'll keep it short. Spicy tuna on crispy wontons, tempura white fish and asparagus, kobe beef brisket, and a brie and caramelized onion grilled sandwich with a side of cucumber gazpacho (thanks to a mistake by the waitress, we actually got two of these for free). Samantha and Marina weren't too keen on the gazpacho, which was fine, because I was and gladly made both orders disappear. And if you think we didn't get desert, you're crazy. Croissant bread pudding with vanilla ice cream.


Once again, Chaya Downtown after 4 p.m. satisfied me completely. This bar is consistently tasty and it has two other locations as well, Venice and Beverly Hills. It's the perfect environment for a night out with friends or with a date, I'm guilty of participating in both scenarios, happily. And yes, seeing Eminem perform live with Rihanna was as amazing as they said. Cheers!