I really don't get the appeal of Cha-ya (and I've been to the Berkeley location as well). Sure, it's a vegan Japanese place, and vegan Japanese food is hard to find. On the other hand, the food here is pretty bland and basic (it seemed like half the menu consisted of either simple sushi rolls or batter-fried vegetables)---this is probably a function of the fact that it's shojin-ryori Buddhist cuisine, which seems almost akin to macrobiotic food in my opinion.
There are no curries (and Japan does have curries, you just rarely see them), no spicy dishes; everything is either batter-fried, or broth-y type dishes. Seasonings are not allowed, it seems.
My friend and I shared an order of potstickers ($7) which were okay, but oily. We also had their spring rolls which were, go figure, batter-fried and had no inherent flavor on their own. We were given a sweet dipping sauce on the side, but I didn't like the flavor of it, and switched to the potsticker soy-based dipping sauce they gave instead.
In short, nothing here will "hit the spot"---all the vegetables are either raw, fried or steamed and seemingly never seasoned. They're also cash-only.