Text Size

SCLogin

Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2014 JoomlaWorks Ltd.

Kasa Tapas & Raw Bar

kasa steak

Downtown Orlando is primed for a restaurant renaissance. There are plenty of places to eat, but it needs more places to dine, restaurants where the meal is the experience, part of the evening’s entertainment, and not just a place to grab a bite before heading out for a night of drinking.

I was hoping that Kasa would be that sort of restaurant, but unfortunately it is not, at least in its current state.

It certainly looks as though it could be a dining destination. Occupying the prime corner space at Orange Avenue and Church Street formerly held by Urban Flats, Kasa has a bright, modern and chic feel. The space is large and open. Seat backs are low, enabling the see-and-be-seen clientele. The multilevel dining and lounge areas give an expansive feel.

If only the food could come up to the level of the decor.

The menu is confusing and unfocused. There are oysters next to arancini next to pad Thai calamari next to meatballs next to burgers. It bills itself as a tapas restaurant and raw bar, so most of the 50 plus items on the menu are small plates, though there are six or so “entrees.” The menu -- and the person who served me and my guest recently -- helpfully suggests three small plates per person. Some of those small plates do not have small prices -- many are over $10 -- so an order of three will put your total north of $30. Add on wine or drinks and you’ve got a pretty good check average for a tapas bar.

kasa calamari

I wouldn’t complain about the price if the food were worth it, but that was not my experience. My friend and I started with the pad Thai calamari, which featured hard and chewy strips of squid coated with chopped peanuts and served with some sugar snap peas and carrot sticks. I’m giving it the benefit of a doubt that it was indeed squid -- I couldn’t tell from the complete lack of flavor. 

kasa clams

We also had an order of sweet clams from the list of daily specials, which for some curious reason are presented on a card inside a small envelope. The clams had the same characteristics as the calamari (tough and chewy) and the liquor, which was dotted with fatty globules (not necessarily a bad thing) was bland.

kasa meatballs

The Moroccan glazed lamb meatballs did not taste lamby and were topped with bits of dried fruits. The “toasted baguette” that the menu said would be served with the meatballs was a thinly sliced section of one (untoasted).

Perhaps the kitchen could do better with one of the entree selections, we wondered. We looked over the list and narrowed it down to two: the grilled chimichurri hangar steak or the miso braised kobe brisket. 

We decided to ask our server, who previously had offered her favorites unsolicited. She didn’t hesitate: go with the brisket. Why? I asked. Because it’s new, she said. Have you tried it? I wondered. No, she said.

I ordered the hangar steak.

And it was quite good. The meat was cooked perfectly, with a nice charred exterior and a beautiful juicy red inside. The flavor was predominantly garlic, but that’s to be expected with a chimichurri. Unfortunately, the fingerling potatoes that accompanied were overcooked. It was a larger portion than the tapas offerings, but I did not think it warranted its $26 price tag.

As previously noted, service was lacking. 

The name is a thoughtful mashup of the Spanish word for house and omakase, the term used in a sushi bar for the chef's selection, meaning "from the chef's heart."

It seems that Kasa is trying to be too many things and to appeal to too many people, and as a result, appeals to only a few.

Kasa Tapas & Raw Bar is at 189 S. Orange Ave., Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-985-5272.

Related Articles/Posts
The Coop's Opening Menu, with Prices, Created by Scott JosephThe Coop's Opening Menu, with Prices...
The Coop, John Rivers' new restaurant, is doing training service this week in advance of its official opening Thursday, April 17. I got a look at the place an...
Hangar Bar and Grille Reported Closed, Created by Scott JosephHangar Bar and Grille Reported Closed...
Word is coming in this morning that the Hangar Bar and Grille in College Park has closed. This is not yet confirmed, though there is no answer, live or recorded...
South + York, Created by Scott JosephSouth + York...
South + York is a rare thing for the Winter Springs and Oviedo area: It is a restaurant with a mission to do good food, ambitious food, styled for serving in ...
Prom Dates Could Be Wearing Extra Crispy Corsages from KFC, Created by Scott JosephProm Dates Could Be Wearing Extra Crispy Corsages from KFC...
This is the sort of thing we expect from Burger King, but the Colonel? According to a story at Mashable, a Louisville, Kentucky, florist is offering corsages...
Vanbarry's Opens South of Downtown, Created by Scott JosephVanbarry's Opens South of Downtown...
Vanbarry's Public House officially opened Sunday at 4120 S. Orange Ave. in the space that most recently was Tommy Addison's. The new business is from the owners...

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Wednesday, 16th April 2014

What is a Flog?

A flog is a food blog with news and reviews of restaurants. Here you'll find all things edible, lots of things to drink, including expert wine advice, and lots of other stuff.


Follow Scott ...

Scott's Newsletter

Please register to the site before you can sign for a list.
No account yet? Register

Flog Advertisement

Featured Links:
Shargaa illustrations
The Best Graphic Design Firm in the Business! (And designer of the Scott Joseph's Orlando Restaurant Guide logo.)
Cucciaioni Photography
Cucciaioni Photography by Eric Cucciaioni, Official Photographer of Scott Joseph's Orlando Restaurant Guide.