Being vegetarian in this city is expensive. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not complaining. But if I want to go out for a nice meal, something I want to tell a friend about the next day, I’m pretty much fucked with the prospect of actually going out and I end up eating compost for dinner.
But fear not my protein deficient pretties, for Cha-Ya is about to change your life. With two locations in the city and one in the East Bay, your Japanese cravings will cease here.
I know that the prices seem expensive. But have you been to Herbivore? Or Cafe Gratitude for that matter? Or Millennium? It’s always a passing around of the bill until you realize that you just blew $60 on a meal and you’re still fucking hungry.
But Cha-Ya will fix you up. Their Taku-Sui, which is a Gyoza and veggies pot, will literally have you swooning for days. There was so much of it that I had only made a dent, and I ate the leftovers for three days. THREE DAYS. At $9, that’s less than $3 a meal.
Other things to consider: Their soba and tempura meals are all great, but their sushi rolls are what keep you coming back for more. The Cha-Ya Roll, at around $8, is stuffed with so much goodness [asparagus, yam, avocado, carrots, and then DEEP FRIED!] I dare you to try to find a vegetarian dish that’s more delicious or worth your money.
Plus, the best part about this place? The adorable Japanese ladies that serve you your food. You tea cup and water glass never go empty, and anything you need they’re there for. I like to frequent places that have waitresses that are sweeter than my mother.
1386 9th Ave near Judah St [Inner Sunset]
San Francisco, CA 94122
762 Valencia St near 18th St [The Mission]
San Francisco, CA 94110
1686 Shattuck Ave near Lincoln St [Gourmet Ghetto]
Berkeley, CA 94709