Kasa Pop Up Dinner at the Corner
I had the (dis)pleasure of going to Kasa's pop up dinner at the Corner this Wednesday. I love Kasa and go there quite frequently for fresh and flavorful Indian food. Their popup food, however, was horrible. It was greasy, and to my mind tasteless — the greatest sin of them all. The service was incompetent and they ran out of dessert before finishing service. It was a complete disaster of a meal and has made me rethink my continuing patronage of Kasa.
Before one can eat a meal, one must have a table. Despite a reservation, the restaurant took 25 minutes to turn over a table for us to eat. I tend to give restaurants a 10-15 minute grace period, but 25 minutes was really pushing my patience. I know it can be hard to time things in a new restaurant, but the food had the impression of being cooked elsewhere and reheated, so this excuse is less acceptable to me.
After being seated, first up were appetizers. They offered tomato shorba, which was described as a "a thin but richly spiced tomato soup." Thin it was, but richly spiced it was not. It was a thin tomato gruel that was nearly tasteless. You could also see the oil floating on top. It was a complete miss. The second appetizer was an "eggplant bruschetta." It was, for the most part, OK. The eggplant was greasy and the bread soggy, but it was at least flavorful. If only the same could be said for the rest of the meal.
The mains included "Karahi-tossed Brussel Sprouts," or "wok-tossed brussel sprouts with garlic, chili & lime." They were the only bright spot on the otherwise sad menu. They were crisp and interesting. It was served on a plate with "Rice Pillau." The rice was an utter embarrassment. It was cold, gross, and had already started clumping together into hard nuggets. I would have been embarrassed to serve it to a dog, but it was being presented as good food. The vegetable korma were completely forgettable and tasted only of fried food. The "sweet & chili aloo" was served about fifteen minutes after the other dishes. It was served in a huge bowl of dark brown sauce. It was flavorless and you could also see the oil floating on top. Plus, it was served so late that I thought the meal was over and could only take a few bites.
I would review the dessert, but as I said, they had already sold out. This was really surprising, as the portions that were served to tables next to us were absolutely tiny.
If Kasa is demoing a new concept, this meal tells me that they really need to return to the drawing board and rethink things through again.
Popups are hard. Irregular location, untrained staff, confused patrons and menu.
And Kasa's food (which I love at the Castro location) relies on freshness. If you get there at the wrong time, the steam table just turns all that grease...to grease.
No excuse for a bad dinner or bad service, but no need to give up on the original either.