A Taste of “Colonial Cuisine”
By Dave Nevill Jr. of OrlandoFoodScene.com
I think KASA Executive Chef Shawn Kaplan said it best when he described the menu and flavors of KASA as “Colonial Cuisine.” The flavors of the menu draw inspiration not just from Spanish and Japanese culture, but from all over the world. “Colonial Cuisine,” as Chef Kaplan describes it, is the melding of distinct cultural cooking styles and ingredients to create unique dishes that are both familiar and at the same time brand new.
Kasa is located in the heart of downtown Orlando in The Plaza. With large windows and a slick interior, the restaurant feels hip with a definite sophistication — certainly the type of place you’ll find the downtown business crowd during the lunch hour. It’s the lunch hour where KASA really shines. The tapas-style dishes are all great to share, and can be sent out quickly for those who don’t have the time to spare.
During my visits, I was able to try a selection of some of the favorites on the menu. I started off with the Korean Calamari, which is served with thin sliced crispy veggies in a sweet and spicy sauce. The Spicy Tuna Tostada Tower was a fantastic appetizer with fresh tuna, avocado, crème fraîche, and cherry tomatoes. On my second visit, I tried the Bison Romesco Burger which combines lean bison meat with Havarti cheese, bacon, and sautéed scallions. On a recommendation from my server, I also tried the Cranberry Kale Salad with seared tuna. The salad and tuna, combined with their lemon avocado dressing, was a winner.
Each of these mashups of flavors, cuisines, and cultures combine to create dishes that evoke both a sense of familiarity and curiosity. I feel like after two visits, I’ve yet to really explore what KASA and Chef Kaplan have to offer. The environment is fantastic, the service is excellent, and the dishes really stand out for their originality and flavor.
KASA Restaurant and Bar
183 S. Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL 32801