Kaya Street Kitchen is sort of an Indonesian restaurant in Aliso Viejo. Dutch and Indo ex-pats looking for straight-up Indonesian dishes such gado-gado or nasi rames will not find them here. It bills itself generally as Southeast Asian, and the food it cooks is as Indonesian as Chipotle is Mexican. But this isn’t a bad thing. Kaya is priming the pump, introducing basic Indo flavors to a largely unfamiliar audience, which might soon accept this food as they have pad Thai and pho. And it serves it in the most accessible way possible, in a build-your-own-bowl assembly line, with free samples at every turn. As soon as you enter, a sea of eager smiles and a question greets you: “Have you been here before?” Since it’s only been open a few weeks and everyone who comes is new to the place, what follows is a whole lot of explanation.
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