Chaya Brasserie – San Francisco, California:Chaya Brasserie is a casual fusion restaurant that serves “Japanese-accented French Cuisine” in the heart of San Francisco. While most of their dishes are more French than Japanese, the restaurant has an excellent sushi bar that can compete with other Japanese restaurants around the area. Chaya is a popular hangout among local office workers so be warned, it can get crowded here during happy-hour.
Inside, the décor is bright and laid-back with high ceilings and a romantic San Francisco setting with a wonderful view of the Bay Bridge and the Ferry Building. The dining area is divided into two rooms—the main dining room, which is more casual and has a martini bar, and the more private carpeted dining room where the sushi bar is also located.
For starters, we ordered tuna and salmon sashimi and their famous San Francisco Roll. Their sushi was fresh and of top quality but the portions could have been better. For the main course, I decided on a Pan seared wild sea bass with watercress, polenta, and morel jus. The sea bass was tender and juicy; the watercress gave the fish an interesting contrast but the polenta seemed to oddly stand out and did not fuse well with the dish. For dessert, I tried the chocolate bread pudding and was not impressed.
Because we were there for lunch, the place was busy and the wait staff had their hands full. While our waiter was courteous, we felt like we were being hurried and were not accommodated enough to make us feel welcomed. I enjoyed lunch at the the Chaya Brasserie, but there was simply nothing special about it to make it stand out among the countless other fabulous restaurants in San Francisco. I rate the Chaya Brasserie Between Bombastic and Not.