Of course we ate our best meal of 2020 at our coffee table. After all, this is the Year of Takeout, and Kasama (the new Filipino restaurant in Ukrainian Village that gave us said meal) is only open for carryout and delivery. In fact, at this point in any other year we’d be using the phrase “Best New Restaurant” to describe Kasama.
That’s because from their unbelievable pastries to their Filipino BBQ, all the food we’ve tried from this all-day spot has been incredible. The BBQ platter’s tocino pork ribs are tender, and their smoky longanisa is the sausage we all need (and deserve) in our lives right now. While we’re at it, everyone also deserves the adobo chicken: a fantastic plate of meaty wings, tangy glaze, and garlic rice.
And please, please get to Kasama in the morning before they sell out of pastries. Every single one that we’ve eaten has made us close our eyes and say a prayer of thanks for taking our minds off of… well, you know. The sweet and salty danish that’s topped with serrano ham and raclette fondue is basically meditation in pastry form. But if you weren’t able to get here in time for the danish, hopefully you can still pick up the creme fraiche cheesecake that’s one of the fluffiest versions of this dessert we’ve ever had.
We realize that any “Best New Restaurant” designation feels weird considering what’s happening in the restaurant landscape right now. Kasama isn’t even operating at its full potential. Their dining room is closed, and while there’s a cute counter-service patio, the first time we came here it wasn’t an option because it was raining. But that doesn’t change the fact that out of all the new spots we’ve tried over the past nine months, Kasama is our favorite.
Yes, the term “fall off the bone” to describe ribs is overused. But that doesn’t change the fact that just looking at the ribs from Kasama caused them to fall off the bone. The platter also comes with smoky longanisa, giardiniera mustard, and thick slices of toasted bread.
What makes adobo chicken wings even better? Fluffy garlic rice and atchaya. A bite of sweet and tangy chicken, pickled papaya, and garlicky rice is pretty perfect.
The pork-filled lumpia come with a sweet chili sauce, and needs to be on your (coffee and/or patio) table.
The person in charge of the excellent pastries at Kasama is the former pastry chef from Oriole, so it’s not surprising they’re so good. The ham and cheese danish is a good example of what makes them so perfect - salty serrano ham and raclette fondue on top of a light and flaky pastry that’s topped with sugar.
This simple looking dessert manages to be the lightest cheesecake we’ve ever had. It has a soft graham crust and is topped with a light berry sauce.