In an article reviewing the original Kaya Street Kitchen in LA, LA Times labeled Kaya Street Kitchen as the "Asian Chipotle." But really, what doesn't follow the Chipotle model these days? Kaya Street Kitchen definitely does. It's a build-your-own taco and bowl restaurant just like Chipotle, except the "tacos" are made with fresh-baked rotis, and instead of salsa and guac, there's sambal and kecap manis (the sticky sweet soy sauce indigenous to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore).
Now this "Asian Chipotle" is actually beating Chipotle's actual Asian concept, Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, in opening in OC.
As we speak, Kaya Street Kitchen is putting the finishing touches on its first OC store. It will open Saturday, May 23, at 26731 Aliso Creek Road in Aliso Viejo.
If you've not been to the LA's Kaya Street Kitchen, expect chicken satay (with optional peanut sauce), a lemongrass steak, shrimp and pork meatballs, or tofu cooked in sambal for the vegetarians who would order sofritos at the actual Chipotle.
And for dessert, they'll offer kaya toast, two pieces of toast with coconut jam traditionally eaten with a soft-cooked egg.