Being Malaysian, I’m so accustomed to just walking out onto the street for amazing food – Malay, Chinese or Indian – that I tend to take it for granted. After 10 days in LA, I was sorely craving for some authentic Asian food. The ones that we tried (especially the Chinese takeaway) was horrendously bad. 😛
Thankfully, LA redeemed itself with Kaya Street Kitchen – a small, simple-looking eatery along Fairfax Avenue that serves South East Asian food (Malaysian, Indonesian and Singaporean). You won’t believe how happy I was when I saw the word Malaysia lol. Finally, a taste of home! The restaurant serves dishes Subway-style – meaning that you get to choose from either a rice bowl or a taco and fill it up with veges, meats and sauces.
I got the coconut lime rice (which is basically nasi lemak – Jasmine rice cooked in coconut milk with a fragrant, creamy taste) and coconut lemongrass steak (inspired by beef rendang, the dish is cooked in serai, but unlike the Malay version, the one here is non-spicy). I opted for more meat so I skimped on the veggies. The serving is large and can feed two small eaters.
E got chicken satay. The rice is topped with fried garlic that lends it a real oomph, as well as a side of sambal (mixed chilli paste. You can go for mild, medium or hot. What can I say, the food was amazingly delicious! You best believe that when a Malaysian says food is good, it is: Because we live to eat and we love our street food. The meat (both beef and chicken) was tender and flavourful, while the rice was done well (no clumped up bits or soggy grains!). Although the beef dish was not traditional, it was great! Sort of catering to new customers with a not-so-accustomed palate to spicy food, but still with that great flavour that locals love. Great job, Kaya Street Kitchen!
If you, like me – and any other Malaysian worth their salt – like your food hot and spicy, they have original condiments like Sambal, all the way from Indonesia. This really packed a punch, even for someone who eats spicy food often.
They even have Kaya (coconut egg jam) toast for dessert! I always feel that kaya has a great potential to be popular overseas because it is so underrated. To those who don’t know, Kaya is a Malaysian dessert spread made from coconut, eggs, sugar and sometimes pandan flavour. We serve it with a fat pat of butter on toast, and down it with coffee or Milo. Staple breakfast right there. Anyway, if you’re looking for good Asian food, DROP. BY. THIS. PLACE.
Kaya Street Kitchen
FAIRFAX 109 North Fairfax Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90036
Open: 11am – 10pm
More details: http://www.kayakitchen.com
After our meal we took a flight to Sacramento. The airport is a lot smaller than LAX, but they have this interesting ‘baggage pillar’ at the conveyor belt area.
Had dinner at Denny’s before finally going back to Vacaville.
What an awesome time in LA! 🙂