For those of you in LA and SF, you’re probably familiar with the Chaya brand. It gained popularity awhile back and spread across California, but did you know that it all started 390 years ago in Japan? The original Chaya restaurant in Hayama started as a tea house, but since has been renovated into an upscale and very traditional Japanese restaurant. Since then, they’ve created a chain of traditional Japanese and Japanese-European fusion restaurants and patisseries across Japan.
This long weekend, we grabbed a quick lunch at the much newer cafe of La Maree de Chaya that sits directly across the street from the original Hikage Chaya branch. This 3-story restaurant is right by the water and has a very laid back French-country feel to it.
To my knowledge, the Japanese restaurants and cafes don’t serve macrobiotic food that it’s so famous for in the States. I doubt this fish and chips appetizer is in any way macrobiotic – it was fried to perfection!
I didn’t have a chance to snap photos of the other dishes because hubby & friends were extremely hungry and dug in even before it hit the table! Among the dishes were hashed beef over rice, pasta with mushrooms, and a cold pumpkin soup. They also serve a Sunday brunch, which I can’t wait to try. Like any beachside restaurant, the service was slow but friendly so make sure to plan time to relax and enjoy the view!
La Maree de Chaya