Chaya Downtown

chaya Photograph courtesy

The mishmash of colorful plastic objects (scissors, Tupperware lids, et cetera) that makes up the chandelier at Chaya Downtown seems to reflect the minichain’s eclectic menus, which can offer everything from pappardelle bolognese to a crunchy dragon roll to Moroccan-style roasted lamb. But different dishes are featured at each Chaya outpost. The ones here, we would argue, are the freshest yet. Crudo preparations include tai snapper with kumquat-chili relish and Scottish salmon with pickled fennel. House-cured, ruby red duck prosciutto is paired with shavings of petit basque cheese. The flesh of a whole orata is rubbed with Tuscan herbs and roasted until flaky. With such a broad menu, not all dishes can be a specialty; pastas are a low point. The Chaya folks have a knack for creating a happy hour scene, and the outdoor patio buzzes come quitting time. » 525 S. Flower St. (213-236-9577). L Mon.-Fri.; D Mon.-Sat. Full bar. Euro-Asian $$$

Photograph courtsey