Chaya's Garlic Fair: It'll Take Your Breath Away
If onshore breezes don't do their job, L.A. may disappear this month in a powerful haze, not of smog but of garlic fumes. The culprit is Chaya Venice, which is sending out the heavenly (or hateful) aromas of Allium sativum throughout August.
Its Garlic Fair 2011 starts at happy hour -- choose between vodkas infused with garlic and basil or garlic and habaneros -- and runs through dinner and dessert. Anybody up for garlic crème brûlée?
Start out with roasted garlic hummus, seared beef carpaccio with chili, ginger and soy pickled garlic, or scallops with black garlic and marinated shimeji mushrooms. Your soup course will be tomato and watermelon gazpacho with burrata and basil garlic olive oil.
For the main course, executive chef Shigefumi Tachibe has come up with sea bass with green garlic risotto, garlic short rib "sukiyaki" hot pot and garlic fish with garlic sweet potato chips. But if you're really serious, you'll go straight to the grilled rib eye with 40 cloves of garlic sauce.
Chaya's garlic feast takes place only at night. The regular dinner menu is served too, which puts the the unwary non-garlic lover in the same position as a nonsmoker in a room full of cigarette fiends.