For its’ 25th anniversary, Chaya has a new tasting menu called “La Petite Chaya,” in honor of the first restaurant that the Tsunoda family opened in California in 1982, featuring escargots en cocottes ($8), crunchy shrimp rolls ($6) or Kobe Beef rolls ($18) and desserts like French Apple tart ($6). If you go during the month of October, Executive chef Tachibe is offering a $25 prix-fixe dinner special with proceeds from $25 tickets for an Oct. 25 celebration to benefit the Careers through Culinary Arts Program which helps students interest in working in the food industry with scholarships and training.

Just up the street from Chaya’s in Beverly Hills, is Comme Ca on Melrose and they have a new Defaire Love Affair happy hour for lovers or workers who would like to enjoy their afternoons somewhere other than in Los Angeles traffic. Whether you want a tasty bite of steak tartare, salmon tartare, crabcake, croque Monsieur, shrimp cocktail, or fromage du jour, it will only cost $7, though lovers might prefer some of the $2 oysters. For a nice libation to lighten your mood while eating, but without lightening too much of your wallet, try one of their $7 specialty cocktails with fanciful names like the Little Prick, made with gin honey, lemon, rosemary, and rose water, the Mango Mahal, made with vodka, mango puree, lime, and rose water, or my personal favorite the Live to Love, made with cachaca, St. Germain, raspberry, and champagne.

So next time you are faced with driving during rush hour, go get a bite and a drink and let the traffic clog on without you; just make sure you get a cab if you end up drinking more than eating.

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