La Chaya Bistro — July 22, 2011

25 07 2011

La Chaya Bistro
4537 Nicollet
Minneapolis
http://lachaya.com/

La Chaya’s food was enjoyable – and we don’t want our terrible experience to overshadow a good meal. But, we have to at least address it. The service was inattentive, slow (we didn’t get our food for 75 minutes, and never received an apology or even an acknowledgement of the situation) and careless. We left extremely disappointed and amazed at the huge service failure we encountered. Too bad our polite note on the receipt probably never even reached the manager…

Chilled avocado soup with crab; Jim's Michelada in the background.

But, we’d definitely return. Why? The place itself has character, the food is above average and the location in the Kingfield neighborhood is quite charming.

The side patio was a treat. We sat near a bubbling fountain and colorful plants, trying to restrain ourselves from inhaling the thick, warm bread and spicy butter (but our wait was enough time to go through two baskets…). Jim’s Michelada – a spicy sauce, lime juice and Corona served over ice – was a fun twist on red beer and a hot way to cool down. With the right salty appetizer (or really, more bread), it’s worth ordering again.

Lamb chops in smoky mole sauce

Once it arrived, the food was great. I started with a pear and gorgonzola salad: standard, but refreshing. My bowl of the evening’s soup took tops – a cold avocado puree with chunks of crab and swirls of rich olive oil. It had a good kick at the end of each smooth spoonful and was gone in minutes. Jim’s was good, but he didn’t rave quite as much. His lamb chops were covered in a smoky mole sauce and served with mashed potatoes, grilled green onions and bell peppers. For $30, the plate’s small portion of meat wasn’t a value, but the dish as a whole was thoughtfully devised and well-prepared.

The menu online is completely out of date, but the current options offer a good mix. And judging from what we ordered this time around, we’d be surprised to find a bad pick. Even on a 90-degree evening, the pesto pasta bowl looked (and smelled) outstanding. So, it’s worth a second chance. We just hope they’ll focus on employee development as much as they do their recipes.

RATING (out of 5 ♠♠♠♠♠)
Ambiance/Environment:
♠♠♠1/2
Menu Selection:
♠♠♠
Service:
♠1/2 
Food Taste & Presentation: ♠♠♠1/2
COMPLETE EXPERIENCE:
♠♠1/2

Total bill, including tip: $60

La Chaya Bistro on Urbanspoon

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