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Koo-Ya, Astoria’s First Kashikatsu Pop-Up

July 10, 2014

Kooya Kashikatsu Astoria NYC

This is really exciting. As I was walking home along Broadway in Astoria last night, I did a double take when I passed Lots O Bagels. Though the establishment was closed, it had been transformed for the evening into a Japanese street food stand. 

Open every day from 5pm to midnight (and 2am on Fridays and Saturdays), this young operation is offering Astoria something completely different. Kooya serves only kashikatsu, deep-fried skewers of vegetables or meat. 

“Want a free sample?” the young man behind the counter called out. I can’t resist a free sample. I tried the squash, which was delicious, and then ordered a 3-skewer combo for $4: eggplant, beef, and chirashi cheese. All were equally good, but as I remember from my prior experience with kashikatsu, you have to order the vegetables — they’re out of this world.

Kashikatsu Pop-up Broadway Astoria NYC

Yesterday was the pop-up stand’s second day open. “We’re figuring things out as we go along,” said the young man. Astorians were skeptical as they passed by. “Want a free sample?” he asked them. “What is this?” one woman said. “Is it all fried?” 

Yes, it is, and it’s all delicious! Comparing it to halal food in New York, the boy at the counter explained that the chef (who was furiously frying behind him) spent several years in Japan training, where he witnessed Japanese workers purchasing kashikatsu on their way home in the evening, and he thought we ought to have it in New York, too.

Check them out!

Kooya

Broadway between 31st and 30th Streets (inside Lots O Bagels)

Open Monday through Thursday 5PM to midnight; Friday and Saturday 5PM to 2AM

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