Eat Like No One is Watching
Seriously, keep your leftovers from Kyana's Kitchen
It was a quiet weekday evening at Kyana's Kitchen—which just opened its doors to Gold on Aug. 18. A few other patrons sat in near silence enjoying their meals as my friend and I caught up after a long few weeks. I paused every few moments to take a sip of tea—a verdant basic green with flowery high notes—offered in addition to black and iced tea options. Soon, I hoisted my chopsticks and dove into the massive bowl of noodles. Light and satisfying, the food assembled in front of me had a healthful crunch, which was balanced nicely with the greasy satisfaction of the egg roll sliced atop it. After finishing our meal, we lingered comfortably for a long time at a broad table against a plain white wall, finishing our tea and our stories—the waitstaff neither rushing us along nor acting entirely hands-off. Pouring our leftovers into to-go containers, we looked over the bill—for two dishes, an appetizer and more green tea than we could drink between the two of us, the total came to a round and reasonable $23. My friend and I parted ways and hours later, I realized I had forgotten my leftovers at the restaurant. A feeling of deep regret washed over me. Never again, I swore.
A few weeks later, I walked the few blocks between my office and Kyana's Kitchen for lunch. This time, the restaurant was noticeably fuller, a few tables full of suited men talking loudly, one even on speakerphone with a woman shouting from somewhere far away. I took my choice of seats and ordered up a bowl of vegetable pho, egg rolls and—why not?—another pot of tea. Kyana's Kitchen also has extensive banh mi, stir fry and rice dishes on their menu, several of which weren't available this particular day—the restaurant had been open for less than a month when I visited, so I consider that entirely forgivable. My server was exceedingly kind, graciously taking my request for pho sans meat, and magically, knowing what I needed a beat before I did every time.
The egg rolls, stuffed with cabbage and carrot, were served barely warm, but I'm going to be honest here, I've never had a bad egg roll; I ate them happily with sweet chili sauce. The steaming bowl of pho held cubes of fried tofu, broccoli, squash, bok choy—all sweet, complimentary vegetables—with thick, round rice noodles at the bottom. I pulled fronds of cilantro, slices of jalapeno and mung bean sprouts from the standard plate of pho accoutrements and dropped them in the heaping bowl of soup, adding a spoonful of chili to the oily broth for good measure. In the now bustling restaurant, I proceeded to eat like no one was watching.
As I stepped out onto the sidewalk after my lunchtime visit to Kyana's Kitchen, I made sure that my leftovers were with me and cut the few blocks north back to work. I was full, but still buoyant and, overcome with the happiness of the no longer hungry, I gave my leftovers away upon return to my office.
As I stepped out onto the sidewalk after my lunchtime visit to Kyana's Kitchen, I made sure that my leftovers were with me and cut the few blocks north back to work. I was full, but still buoyant and, overcome with the happiness of the no longer hungry, I gave my leftovers away upon return to my office. In my satiated euphoria, I was happy to share my bounty of pho, however, around 4pm, I once again felt the deep regret of having missed an opportunity to enjoy a bowl of noodles from the consistent and delicious Kyana's Kitchen.
315 Gold SW
Hours: Mon-Thurs: 11am-9pm, Fri: 11am-2am, Sat: 4pm-2am
Vibe: Spare, super-casual
Alibi recommends: Vermicelli bowl with veggies