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CHAYA Modern Izakaya Raises the Bar of Excellence This Summer With All New Handcrafted Cocktail Program

CHAYA Modern Izakaya 1
Photo Credit: Alen Lin

This past spring, the 28-year-old Chaya Venice officially transitioned into CHAYA Modern Izakaya, inviting guests to discover innovative Japanese-Californian cuisine along with an unprecedented new destination bar featuring specially curated Wines, Sake, Premium Spirits, and Japanese Whisky list, along with unrivaled Handcrafted Cocktails, all of which are encompassed in the CHAYA Modern Izakaya New Summer Cocktail Program!

Completely reintroducing and redefining a new Summer Cocktail Program, CHAYA Modern Izakaya introduces the bar industry’s best kept secret, Cocktail Consultant Feisser Stone. With a reputation for crafting unique handcrafted cocktails, Stone is no stranger to iconic L.A. concepts, having worked behind the stick at top L.A. restaurants such as Hinoki and the Bird, Scopa Italian Roots and Felix Trattoria. Now, the head of his own consulting company, Barlingual, Stone describes his approach to the CHAYA Modern Izakaya cocktail menu as a “Hyper-focused on introducing familiar concepts with an innovative twist.”

Part of Stone’s twists include playful spins on his Specialty Cocktails such as the Son of a Bee Sting featuring gin, ginger, honey, lemon and lavender bitters, or the Shibui Trilogy comprised of Hibiki Harmony, Applejack, sugar and orange bitters. Take a journey to the most popular destination at CHAYA Modern Izakaya, the Far East Side, a refreshing libation prepared with tequila, sake, cucumber, lime and shiso, or enjoy the Golden Shrine made with Toki Whisky, Bénédictine and bitters.

Embrace the Venice Beach breeze as you sip and savor the Spicy Margarita with tequila, agave, lime and habanero bitters, or enjoy the Coconut Grove, Stone’s updated rendition on the quintessential Piña Colada, featuring Santa Teresa 1796 Rum, Coco Lopez, Cointreau and lime, or sip and savor the tart and spicy Paloma, made with tequila, mezcal, grapefruit, lime and club soda. The Seasonal Caipiroska is just the libation to relax and unwind with, incorporating Effen Cucumber Vodka, Leblon Cachaca, Orgeat and lime, while the Miles Davis keeps life smooth and brassy with SelvaRey Cacao Rum, Montenegro, honey and bitters.

“When you are drinking a cocktail like the Miles Davis,” says Stone, “everything comes together feeling effortless and cool.”


Guests of CHAYA Modern Izakaya can also cool off this summer with the many varieties of Sake that is now offered, such as the Miyasaka Yawaraka Junmai, described by Manager Joseph Moretti as having “Notes of caramel and a lot of charm.” Pairing particularly well with Executive Chef Joji Inoue’s Izakaya fare is the full-bodied Yamato Junmai, clean in flavor, with a smooth texture and some funk that old school sake drinkers crave.

Unfiltered and unpasteurized, the Kamoizumi Nigori Ginjo boasts a fresh from the vat taste with vibrant, floral flavors. Beautifully paired with seafood, the Dewazakura “Oka” Ginjo has a dry start that is followed by a soft and creamy middle mouth filled with dried fruit overtones and a subtle melon finish. Utilizing the highest purity of yeast, the traditional Kimoto method makes for a robust and savory Daishichi Kimoto Honjozo.

CHAYA Modern Izakaya 1
Photo Credit: Alen Lin

Additionally, CHAYA Modern Izakaya offers a highly curated selection of Premium Spirits and Japanese Whisky, the latter of which is offered in 1 oz. tasting pours, as a way to introduce these tantalizing and oftentimes rare whiskies to new guests. Named by Forbes as one of the “10 Japanese Whiskies To Try Now,” the Akashi White Oak hails from Japan’s smallest whisky distillery, where only two months out of the year are dedicated to whisky production.

The recently discontinued Hibiki 17 Yr and its award-winning sibling Hibiki 21 Yr are two of the most sought-after whiskies on the planet, utilizing a mix of American, European and Japanese wood; these whiskies are then barrel-aged and bottled at 86 proof. Aged for a minimum of 18 years, the Hakashu 18 Year Old Single Malt is brought to proof with pure Japanese spring water. The award-winning Yamazaki 18 Year Old Single Malt boasts a medium-bodied palate with notes of earth and a zesty floral character.

Relax and Wine down with a glass or bottle of one of the numerous new CHAYA Modern Izakaya Wine selections, each carefully curated vintages by Stone. “Our primary focus is to take advantage of the bountiful Californian wines,” says Stone. “Half of the joy of curating this list is the treasure hunt of discovering these mostly organic, small production varietals.” If effervescent Sparkling is your fancy, there is the Gruner Veltliner Schlumberger Brut, or the blushing Pinot Noir Lucien Albrect Brut Rosé.

It is Rosé all day at CHAYA Modern Izakaya with two pleasantly pink varietals to choose from, beginning with the French Juliette Rosé, as well as the Santa Barbara based Levo Rosé. There is a variety of White to satisfy every palate, starting with the 2016 Dancing Coyote Pinot Grigio, followed by a 2016 Delicta Chardonnay, and a 2017 Preston Sauvignon Blanc that rounds out the California offerings, with a German Riesling. St Urbans – Hof Estate topping off the white selections.

California’s finest are represented in a variety of Red to compliment CHAYA Modern Izakaya’s fare, such as the North Coast produced 2014 Killer Drop Zinfandel Blend, the 2015 Silver Ghost Cabernet Sauvignon from Santa Barbara, and Sonoma’s 2016 Banshee Pinot Noir. Reminiscent of the wines found in the Northern Rhone, the Santa Lucia Highlands based 2008 Sleepy Hollow Vyd Syrah is a favorite of Stone’s, with notes of blackberry, black plum, pepper, and spice with integrated tannins due to age.

CHAYA Modern Izakaya 1
Photo Credit: Alen Lin

Summer in Los Angeles also begs for the cold amber bliss of Beer and CHAYA Modern Izakaya has four Japanese offerings, beginning with two lagers, Sapporo Draught and Kirin Light. Two bright and revivifying Japanese ales arrive just in time for summer, beginning with Hitachino Nest, a mildly hopped white ale with a complex flavor of coriander, orange peel, and nutmeg.

Featuring the sweet and irresistible aroma of the famous Japanese yuzu citrus, Kyoto White Yuzu Ale finishes with a whisper of coriander. CHAYA Modern Izakaya also unveils a stunning new Cocktail Bar, where custom backlit shelving now fully displays the premium spirits and eclectic sake collection served at CHAYA Modern Izakaya. The sweeping bar counter also offers prime seating for guests to observe the craftsmanship of the bartenders executing each libation with the utmost integrity.

Every day from 5:00 pm until closing guests can enjoy Happy Hour at the CHAYA Modern Izakaya Bar featuring Wines by the Glass, Draft Beer and Cold Sake Flights at special prices. Additionally, several Cocktails especially designed for Happy Hour are available, including Stone’s Lychee Martini, comprised of vodka, St. Germaine, lychee purée and lemon; the classic Highball made with Toki whisky and club soda, or the Last Mule, prepared with bourbon, ginger, cassis and lime.

An extensive Happy Hour Small Bites Menu designed by Executive Chef Joji Inoue is also available, enticing guests with hearty dishes like Chicken Kara-age with mango chili and lemon pepper; the slurp-worthy Tequila Ramen featuring creamy chicken broth, braised pork and reposado tequila, or the perfect for summer Salmon Crudo, served with charred tomato ponzu, Fresno chili and yuzu.

Embodying their Japanese past and California present, CHAYA Modern Izakaya raises the bar of excellence and offers something for everyone this summer with their all new Handcrafted Cocktail Program, Wine, Sake, Premium Spirit and Japanese Whisky List!

CHAYA Modern Izakaya serves Dinner every Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm, and every Friday and Saturday from 5:30 pm to 11:30 pm. CHAYA Modern Izakaya offers Happy Hour at the CHAYA Modern Izakaya Cocktail Bar every Sunday through Thursday from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and every Friday and Saturday from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm. For more information or to make reservations, please visit or call CHAYA Modern Izakaya directly at 310.396.1179.


Diane Borget
Diane Borget's family moved to San Diego from Philadelphia just before her high school years and she has never recovered from the social ostracizing ;) She enjoys concerts, dinners, and any group settings :) Thank you for reading!
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