Odd, odd and odd again is how I would describe Kaydara’s menu, service, ambiance and food (odd in taste, appearance and presentation).
Owners tout a “large open floor plan highlighted by an open kitchen.” Oddly enough, the ambiance seemed vacuous and permeated with bad air. Floor-to- high ceiling windows on three sides should have provided a sophisticated atmosphere. Yet, an overnight diner set in a warehouse with windows was more the setting. A Coke machine stacked in the back (seen via the open floor plan) and air thick with smoke (thanks to open kitchen with grill) completed the warehouse effect.
The menu is very similar front and back. One page has food listed with prices, the other listing the same food but without pricing. We attempted to fathom the menu for several minutes before the waitress came to our aid. Tiny print did not help.
We found the noodle menu, though varied, not particularly interesting or enticing.
“Sundae” is an odd, confusing little title amidst the salad list. That said, the “Sundae” salad with its plethora of walnuts, craisins and goat cheese comprised delight. I must also herald the mocha crème brulee on the dessert menu—very small, tiny even, but creamy with a crispy top impeccably torched. My dining companion objected to the mocha flavoring and pointed out that crème brulee when properly prepared is the perfect food. It needs no additives. Our waitress informed us that hot cocoa crème brulee was on the menu the night before and more flavors would be available in the future.
Three (are you getting the ‘odd’ part here?) pot stickers were served in a scant amount of sauce. Who brings three single appetizers to a table of two or even a table of four?
Two crispy chicken thighs alone on a plate were served to my friend. Two lone chicken thighs cost $13.00. She ordered curry potato discs on the side for three dollars and six small potato rounds were provided; no vegetables in sight. She found the chicken to be undercooked and vowed to take it home and finish the job. The crust itself was described as tasty. Our waitress, ever-ready with an explanation, enlightened us. The advantage to this presentation: the chicken is not cut up into tiny little pieces like they do in Chinese restaurants.
I ordered the pork curry which came in a medium-sized soup bowl also for $13. A side of rice was extra for $3. The curry was at least 3 stars hotter than I ever eat but no one inquired as to my star limit. I found the mixture of tender pork and vegetables flavorful once I got beyond its red hot status. In preparation for dessert, ginger was served to clear our palates of spicy flavors. I could have used that ginger between bites of my entrée.
It didn’t help that alcohol is not available. Perhaps, after a cocktail, things would have appeared less egregious. Kaydara though open for over a year, has not been issued a liquor license nor one for wine or beer. Odd, I would say. “Just not yet,” the waitress said. A list of exotic fruit drinks i.e. passionfruit soda and lime iced tea were offered in place of alcohol.
The waitress was attentive, chirpy and considerate and apologized for any confusion on the menu or with the food. She was an able interpreter of Kaydara’s oddities.
The evenings’s conclusion: though we appreciated the effort and the local ties, too odd for us. We would not return.
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