The culinary scene in Los Angeles is a mixture of varying flavors and cooking techniques. While the term “fusion” is thrown around rather freely, it doesn’t always do the restaurant in question justice. One such restaurant to which this applies is Kasih (pronounced Kah-see,) a new Indonesian-inspired spot nestled in Little Tokyo. Kasih Indonesian Restaurant DTLA Downtown LA
Located at the bottom of the AVA Apartment complex on the corner of 2nd Street and Los Angeles Street, Kasih is the brainchild of Vindex Tengker, an Indonesian celebrity chef. Tengker partnered with Executive Chef Zachary Hamel, of E.P. & L.P. in West Hollywood, to round out the menu.
Deriving its culinary style from classic Indonesian cuisine elevated by modern cooking techniques, Kasih – while Indonesian in concept – showcases a wide array of varied Southeast Asian flavors are used to compliment each dish.
In Indonesian, the word kasih means “affection, care and love.” And this is exactly the vibe you get immediately from the decor, and every dish on the menu.
The 120-seat space is accented by sleek wooden tables with upholstered leather chairs. Blue, geometric light fixtures hand from the tall ceiling, providing a bit of brightness to compliment the natural light shining through. A large front patio with plenty of seating makes Kasih a great spot for group dinners before a night out.
Hungry patrons have their choice of a varied selection of food, from soups and curries; grilled, fried, or roasted dishes; rice plates, and light appetizers. Diners have their pick of meat, locally sourced fish and vegetables to choose from.
Some solid choices to try include: The Babi Guling, roast crackling pork belly, Balinese salad and chayote chicken broth; the Rendang Sapi, caramelized beef curry with sautéed spinach, confit pearl onion, fingerling potato, and market squash; and the Asinan Kelapa, Indonesian slaw with sweet and tangy dressing topped with toasted coconut-chili flakes.
Along with this, Kasih makes sambals, or “spicy dip,” when translated. Essentially, sambals are the Indonesian version of chips and dip. The five selections of sambals are all made from scratch, with a sample platter available for those who just can’t decide which to get.
The cocktail selection has been carefully crafted to create a distinctly Indonesian feel to drinks that we are familiar with. Choices include: The Gili, made with vodka, mango tamarind syrup, lime and bitters; Kuno, their version of an Old Fashioned, made with banana infused bourbon, palm syrup, lime juice and aperol.