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Manhattan

more praise for Kasadela

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more praise for Kasadela

c212 | Sep 13, 2004 12:17 PM

Based on many hounds' recs, I went to Kasadela for a late dinner on Sat. night. What a great find. The service from the moment you step in to the moment you leave couldn't be friendlier. The place has a joyful ambience to it. The sake list included affordable selections in a variety of sizes (from taste to carafe to bottle).

But the food is what makes this place a winner.

First order for the two of us: a carafe of a dry sake, some crisp small pieces of nori as a bar snack, grilled charred crispy skewered chicken skins (tori kawa) with a hot pepper paste (chicken perfection), a cold spinach and mushroom dish with bonito shavings (clean and refreshing), and the best dish of the night -- a sublime agedashi tofu, four large chunks of perfectly fried soft tofu artfully presented with a delicious sauce and scallions (at only $3.75 to boot).

After consuming most of the sake, we ordered a large Sapporo and some additional dishes: my chicken craving was only partially sated by the tori kawa so i went for some delicious soy-marinated chicken wings (again, perfection). The goma tofu sesame custard with wasabi was (as i think someone else put it) almost like a softer, less intense halvah, and the wasabi was a perfect counterpoint - this could be a dessert. Rock shrimp tempura came in a surprisingly large portion with a spicy mayo dipping sauce and a salad with ponzu dressing, and was also delicious.

7 small dishes, sake and beer for two came out to a mere $50 before tax and tip ($30 for food, $20 for drinks). I want to go back and order 3 agedashi tofus, the best incarnation of that dish I've ever tasted. It's the type of place you could linger in for hours, sampling more and more food, and drinking more and more sake, and feel that the staff would be only too happy to keep your company for as long as possible.

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