Anyone try this new restaurant Kassava on 3rd?
Yes I have...by far it's the best i've tasted on the west coast. Authenticity aside this small cafe is an ideal "get away from i all kind of place". Below is an account of a recent experience there.
An Island Oasis
It’s Friday afternoon, in the middle of bustling Beverly Hills. The cars pile the streets and doctors and shoppers are milling about. None of this fazes me as I sit on the patio of Kassava under the straw umbrellas. Listening to the sounds of reggae transcends me to a place where nothing really matters and everything is irie. The thought of being on an island where the warm and breezy sun shines on my face, brings a feeling of ultimate peace. The waitress brings me some pineapple ginger juice and with one taste I’m immediately refreshed. The tangy tingling sensation of the juice, awaken your senses and sweeten your palette. I peruse the menu taking in all the options. Who would have known how many islands you could taste in one sitting? The choices varied from spinach patties to conch stew and passion fruit mousse all representing different tastes and styles from a number of different islands in the Caribbean. After wavering between the Oxtails and the Curry Goat I finally settled in on the Jerk Chicken. Anticipation of the savory meal made my mouth water. Before I could get too far into my state of daydreaming I took another sip of my delicious fruit juice. Not too long after I was entranced by the waitress walking down the steps with a steaming plate. It seemed like forever as I watched her every step. The closer she got to me the more my senses came alive with the aroma of the chicken attacking my nose. The blend of the food and the music created an experience that in today’s economic times was all the vacation I could afford. Before I took off to head back to the reality of 3rd st., I was treated to a dish of passion fruit mousse by the proprietor, Jessie Levostre. The smile on her face told me I was in for quite a treat. The first spoonful was absolute bliss. Its air fluff texture and sweet passionate taste was heaven here on earth. I had found an island oasis; right here in the middle of Beverly Hills and everything was irie.
I ran into this place, accidentally, and so I thought I'd offer a review, since Caribbean cooking is what I was raised on.
The meat patties were pretty standard; good but nothing to get excited about.
They make their own habanero pepper sauce, which is a positive.
I had the curried goat, which came with rice and steamed cabbage and plantains.
The goat came in a small bowl, floating in the curry. Either they had used too much curry powder or they hadn't cooked it in the oil enough, so that it had that kind of raw flavor -not terrible, but noticeable. As for the goat, it was a bit fatty, but even more disappointing was that at least 50% of the serving was bone, so at $12, value for money is a tough sell. The plantains were only a little sweet, cut cross-wise (as opposed to the long planks) and only lightly fried; I prefer mine to be fried pretty dark, with crispy edges. The cabbage and rice were unremarkable. Also had a roti ($5!) which was pretty acceptable, if a tad under-salted.
Service was rather poor and disorganized.
In all, the food was authentic, though not perfectly executed. Since it is closer to work than Carribean Treehouse, I will probably return when the urge for my home-style cooking takes hold, but considering the cost for value, it won't be very soon.
Though, maybe it's because this is what I consider to be home cooking, that paying Beverly Hills prices for it irks me.
I had one of the vegetarian dishes and enjoyed it. The plantains it came with were quite good, but the rice and beans it came with were dry and tasteless.
Right now Restaurant.com is offering gift certificates for 90% off. Kassava was on the list. I think it was a $25 certificate for $1.00. There is a minimum puchase and dine in only. password for the deduction is NINETY.