A little over four years ago, a tiny little house that has probably been there forever became a cute yellow restaurant called Kin. It sits in Gert Town on Washington Avenue in an industrial and not all that great neighborhood, and is easily recognized by a billboard on the roof. Kin opened with its hybrid hip Asian cuisine, the new kid amidst other cool spots helmed by the children of the original Vietnamese immigrants in the area. The stories these restaurateurs tell about coming here as refugee children are at least as interesting as the food they serve. And the food they serve is interesting. Interesting good.
It is hard to convey just how tiny this little restaurant is, and how efficiently space here is used. Walking in the front door nearly puts you in the kitchen, which is open with a row of bar
seating. There is another row of window seating, allowing for an uninteresting view of bleak Washington Avenue.
There is one communal table that seats 8-10 people. That’s it. The decor is utilitarian. Spartan. You come here to eat cool Asian fusion food. You don’t come here to dine. The menu is brief.
This is a hot place for med students and people who arrived by bike. One young lady came in with her parents, who were clearly from out of town. The dumpling of the day this day was Philly Cheesesteak, and there was beef and cheese and onion in what looked like a whole wheat wonton. This was really tasty, and the melted cheese oozed out every time a fork went through the wonton. The puddle of jus it sat in was good enough to eat with a spoon. And the wing special of the day was hot. It’s always hot. Only the spices making it hot vary from day to day. These came three to an order and were, well, hot. They were accompanied by gray hard-boiled eggs which I learned were soy-marinated. The explanation of why they were this color did not make me any more inclined to eat it.
Our entrees were superfluous. We were already full and should have gotten one entree to split. Mine was brisket with Udon noodles and curiously, no broth. The brisket was cooked perfectly and sliced thin and the generous portion layered against the earthy pottery bowl. It had some Vietnamese vegetables rounding out the bowl and a few strands of what one could mistake for hair, but they are in fact some extremely thin sliced peppers that are brown. And the gray egg.
I felt silly asking if the egg was like a ceviche, cooked in the soy marinade. The response that it was boiled also did not make me inclined to eat these. Also on the table was a large bowl of Ramen with chicken in a spicy broth. The chicken was on the bone, and falling off the bone, with sprouts and noodles that seemed housemade. Very good.
These bowls of broth and vegetables seem like a light meal, but keep you full all day. Which is good, because the bill for this was $55.
4600 Washington Ave New Orleans
Tu-Th 4pm -9:30pm
Friday & Saturday 11am-10pm
Closed Sunday & Monday