19th Annual Garlic Fair at Chaya Venice - 2014

During the time I attended school in San Jose, I would drive past Gilroy and the Garlic Festival all the time.  When I'd hear someone talk about the Garlic Festival, I would often think about the time I lived in Northern California.  

It's been years since I've been to the Gilroy Garlic Festival, but I am sure its grown since my last visit.  Back then, items such as garlic pasta, garlic sausage, and even garlic ice cream were sold.  I'm sure some of the items are still the same, but I'm sure there are a lot of new ones too.

So I was very interested to see what Chaya Venice
has to offer during their 19th Annual Garlic Fair
(until August 31, 2014)

See What Jay Eats...

 Bagna Cauda with Grilled Country Bread

A warm dish with slow cooked garlic, olive oil, butter,
cream, with anchovies, thyme, and rosemary.

This is the way to begin a garlic dinner!

But first, something from the bar
Devilish Mary

Casamigos Tequila, Muddled Garlic Marinated in Orange and Lime,
Chaya Signature Bloody Mary Mix, and Blood Orange Juice.
Served On the Rocks, garnished with a pickled Garlic,
Spicy Citrus Shishito Pepper, Cucumber, and Orange Peel.  

This was a nice cocktail,
but still has their signature Bloody Mary flavor.

Bourbon Bacon Clove

Jim Beam, Bacon Renderings, Maple Simple Syrup,
and Muddled Maple-Marinated Garlic Clove.  Served
On the Rocks, garnished with a Bacon Strip and
Maple-Marinated Garlic Clove. 

It was a bit too much garlic for me,
but loved the bacon.

 We were asked to select an entree
before the starters were served...

Too many good choices...

The Chaya restaurants were one of the first
Asian fusion (so to say) restaurants that I really liked.
If you've followed me, you know that my opinion on most
fusion restaurants is confusion.  
IMO, Chaya set the standard that everyone
tried to be like and were compared to.

 Escargot with Garlic Herb Butter

French escargot, chopped organic mushrooms, garlic, 
garlic herb butter (garlic, parsley, shallot, butter, and lemon juice)

It was soo good, I wanted more!
But I knew more was on the way.

Mary's Chicken Gyoza with Garlic Ponzu

Homemade gyoza with Mary's chicken, onion, cabbage, green onion,
ginger, garlic, garlic chive, sake, and soy sauce, wrapped with egg
ravioli dough and served with garlic ponzu sauce.

It was a nice two bite gyoza

Spicy Garlic Seafood "TAN-TAN" Black Noodle Soup

Shrimp, calamari, Manila clams, black mussels, cooked in 
their house-made miso chicken broth with chopped garlic,
Chinese chili paste served with squid ink flat noodles.

It's amazing how many pieces of seafood they packed into
the mug with the squid ink noodles at the bottom.
This was one of my favorites of the evening. 

 Korean BBQ Japanese Wagyu Beef over Garlic Kimchi Rice "Oju Box"

Grilled and sliced Japanese wagyu beef, marinated in spicy garlic with
sweet soy on kimchi fried rice, served with steamed bok choy, tempura
asparagus, and served in a oju box.

The "Oju Box" is a Japanese lacquered wooden box,
similar to a bento box, but it is not sectioned off.

The Japanese Wagyu Beef was AMAZING!
Just look at those grill marks...

I would've been happy with just this dish.
The marinated beef had flavor and grilled just right.
OK, this was my favorite of the evening.

 Garlic Dungeness Crab Yakisoba

Dungeness crab meat with sautéed red bell peppers, garlic chive,
leeks, green onions, XO sauce, and garlic Alaskan King Crab leg.

This was a wonderful dish, I love crab and XO sauce.
Yes, you guess it, another favorite dish of the evening.

Too many good dishes to have one favorite!

Before the entrees are served...
Back when I worked in Venice, we would
come in to Chaya Venice and have dinner.
Since the sushi bar was always crowded, we would
sit at a table.  It good to know that the
sushi bar here is still as popular.

40-Clove Grilled Rib-Eye 

40-clove garlic au jus, with roasted garlic, and 10 clove garlic 
mashed potato served with broccoli.

This was a huge plate and the beef was incredible.
This was garlic to the 3rd power!

Crispy Branzino

Crispy sautéed skin on branzino (Mediterranean seabass) on a 
garlic organic mushroom medley with roasted potatoes, haricot vert,
grilled lemon, and garlic flacks.

I Love fish with a crispy skin, but not over cooked.
This branzino was fantastic!
Loved the medley too.

Other Garlic Fair Entrees include:

Grilled Garlic Mary's Farm Chicken in Cocotto
A grilled half chicken breast & leg, with garlic roasted potatoes,
grilled farmers market vegetables,
 garlic burbles, roasted mixed cherry tomato, served in a cocotto.

Garlic & Chili Fruits De Mer
Sautéed half Maine lobster tail, jumbo shrimps, scallops in 
roasted garlic, chili, and Shishito peppers, served with roasted 
potatoes & melted butter.

You can see why I said too many good choices.

One more thing...

Spiked Frutas Popsicle

Garlic and Jalapeño Infused Casamigos Reposado Tequila 
with Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Fresh Lime Juice with Tajin Seasoning, 
topped with a Cucumber.

This was a nice "spiked" way to cleanse the palate
after the many garlic flavors.  This popsicle is only available
on the weekends during the Garlic Fair at Chaya Venice.

This is a fruit flavored spiked with some heat
and great palate cleanser before heading home.

The Garlic Fair at Chaya Venice
until August 31, 2014

IMO, the garlic dishes served tonight were not loaded up
with garlic just to say it was garlic dish.  It was refined with a
garlic flavor but not way over the top.  
OK, maybe the 40-Clove Rib-Eye
but the meat was so good, I'll overlook that one...

For someone who loves garlic, this is the month not to miss
at Chaya Venice!  I'm going to have to remember this for
next year and see what the chefs have in store for the 
20th Annual Garlic Festival.  

110 Navy Street 
(at Main Street)
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 396-1179

Thank You!
Chaya Venice
Jenni Hwang

NOTE:  I was an invited guest and thank Chaya Venice 
for their invitation and hospitality.
All comments and opinions are strictly my own. 

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi


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