Kasa: Now Open. Also, Not A Sushi Bar

Kasa.jpgI’m sure I’m not the only Boulderite who’s been watching the corner of Pearl and 15th for months. First Belvedere Belgian Chocolate and BookCliff Vineyards opened up, and the Belvedere’s owner reported that the huge space on the corner that used to be an interior decor place was in fact going to be some sort of Japanese something or other. Then the Subway shop on the other side of the space in question opened up, because Boulder needs more Subway shops like it needs more salons, which is to say not that much. It looks like the comfiest Subway shop ever–it’s got armchairs and a 42″ TV–but it’s still a Subway shop. Such a tease. Meanwhile, the windows of the corner space remained papered and anonymous.

Then, the papered-over windows sprouted a sign that said, Kasa: Opening Soon. Then the paper went away, and you could see the furniture and the white bamboo decor and the upside-down paper umbrellas tiling the ceiling. And the owner of the Belvedere said he’d heard end of January, but end of January came and went.

And then I got really stupid busy and barely stuck my nose downtown for weeks, and boom! Kasa is open.

My husband and I tried ’em out tonight. Upon arrival, the first thing we noticed was a big TV over the alcohol bar playing some sort of shoujo anime, which John pronounced “crazy cool.” Next thing we learned was we could not sit at the sushi bar because Kasa does not have a sushi bar. I apologized profusely and corrected my request to “the food bar,” because I didn’t know anything. Our host kindly explained that Kasa is a yakitori bar.

Yakitori: literally, grilled bird. Chicken kebabs barbecued over charcoal.

In fact, the menu covered a lot more than just chicken. For instance, John, being a vegetarian, ordered shitake mushroom and imo-butter potato skewers. I had the Kasa bowl, which is three skewers–salmon, unagi (fresh-water eel), and tsukune (chicken meatballs)–served over sticky rice mixed with slices of shitake and garnished with oshinko (pickled daikon radish). I also had the rather oversweet “Lychee Love-tini,” a pink concotion involving vodka, flavored sake, and, I think, lychee flavoring. And a lemon, which helped.

Everything was delicious. John had a bite of my rice and proclaimed it the best he’s tasted since we spent a week in Japan back in 2001. The bar was comfortable, the atmosphere elegant, and the service courteous and attentive. There seemed to be a real effort to evoke the culture of the cuisine and educate diners about it. And something about some of the staff’s hairstyles gave me this really surreal sensation of actually being in an anime.

Speaking of which, next time we mean to sit at a table where we can actually watch the TV. That one paper umbrella over the cash register kinda obscures the view from the yakitori bar. I wonder whether we could request a particular show and bring a bunch of friends for, say, a yakitori-and-Kino’s Journey-watching party.

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