Hours: D, Mon.-Sat.
When Red Orchids owners Kelly and Tony Chu announced they were opening a new restaurant, we were thrilled. The couple have built a reputation at their West Ashley location and bring the same creative flair to Aya. White walls, black geometric overlays, red-backed booths, chandeliers, a large, comfortable bar make the space feel cosmopolitan while still being in the same shopping center as Whole Foods. But what lies within is anything from pedestrian strip mall fare. On the short menu you’ll find appetizers like Asian grilled charsiu chicken wings and crispy scallion cakes. For entrees there’s Mapo rice gnocchi with ground pork or the South Korean fried chicken to share. But you’ll really want to come back for the slow-braised meatballs known as Chinese Lion Heads. The Chus continue to offer a comfortable atmosphere with unique offerings. —Kinsey Gidick Dish (Winter 2015)