If you don’t already know that Big Burrito Restaurant Group treats its mailing list members to a free birthday meal, then you are missing OUT. Mr. Beez is hoping for a family hibachi outing for his birthday dinner this year, so we used his birthday coupon for a special fancy lunch instead. As painful as it is to shell out that painful payment to the parking garage each month, it comes with the upside that parking so close to the office means that from time to time I can zip out to another neighborhood for lunch. Lunch today was a lovely fun time. We had the fun of a grown-up lunch out without the hassle or expense of a babysitter. How many wins can I fit in one experience?!
We picked Kaya, Big Burrito’s flavorful Caribbean outpost for Mr. Beez’ birthday lunch. We love Kaya. We’ve never been steered wrong with a meal there. In fact, we love it so much that they catered our wedding, and we were ecstatic to share the thrill of their pulled pork quesadillas and Jamaican green curry vegetables with our guests.
Although it was a warm spring day, we both kicked off our meals with some conch chowder.
Conch chowder is similar to clam chowder, except it has a little kick and its flavor is lighter (read: not nearly as fishy). The chowder was delicious, although in retrospect, it filled me up very heavily and was probably to blame for me being over-stuffed at the end of my meal (OK FINE, my gluttonous appetite was to blame for me being over-stuffed at the end of my meal, but starting off with a heavy soup may not have helped).
For my entree, I had the fish tacos pictured above. It was one of those days where I just NEEDED tacos. I loved the mix of tangy slaw, creamy avocado and the crisp fish. Kaya also offers a number of vegetarian entrees- including tofu tacos. Their tofu is awesome– deep fried with a sweet/sour sauce. Vegetarians and non- alike love it. It is really not to be missed.
Mr. Beez went with his usual– the pulled pork quesadilla. He loves that thing, and I admit, it is excellent. The quesadilla is generously stuffed with flavorful meat, and is all around awesome.
Mr. Beez was most exquisitely pleased with his birthday lunch. We skipped on dessert because we were stuffed. The only thing missing from this lunch was Kaya’s amazing sangria, but both Mr. Beez and I had an afternoon of work ahead, so sangria was inadvisable.
The only downside of Kaya is that they no longer have the avocado tempura appetizer on the menu. THAT WAS AMAZING. Of my many visits to Kaya, it only appeared on the menu once. It was a half-avocado, tempura battered and fried, and drizzled with a little sauce. It was rich and creamy and decadently fried all at the same time. I shared one with my dining companions, and it was so amazing that we had to order more. I’ve never ordered more and more and more dishes of the same appetizer, but it was worth it. The next time I returned to Kaya, it was nowhere to be found. The sad.
Kaya is having its annual KayaFest Caribbean food and music festival on May 26, which promises to be an awesome time. They also have monthly vegetarian price-fixe dinners which are hands-down awesome and reservations book up quickly. As a former vegetarian, I can say that it’s always a pleasure to not have to worry about what on the menu does or does not have meat on it. And Kaya works wonders with veggies, tofu, seitan, and tempeh. This is not some noodles-cheese-and-corn affair. The chef is creative and skilled. It’s a delightful experience for veggies and meat eaters alike.