What to Have for Lunch: Kasa's Lamb Curry Thali
It's two years since Kasa launched at the eastern pole of the Castro's 18th Street cruise corridor. Chef-owner Anamika Khanna grew up in a Punjabi enclave in London ― leave it to someone not schooled in longstanding assumptions of the Castro as culinary barren ground to pioneer some of the most vivid cooking to hit the gayborhood. Did Kasa usher in the Castro's current restaurant frenzy? It's arguable. (Neighborhood chef Melissa Perello once told us that Kasa's chicken tikka kati rolls fueled Frances's pre-opening phase.) We love Kasa's turkey kebab kati rolls (wrapped in house-made roti), but it's the thali that's fueled more than one of our own pre-opening phases at neighborhood bars.
Sonya Philip | waxandwool/Flickr
You pick your thali's central dishes, hofbrau-style, from a steam-table setup, to mingle with basmati, daal, raita, chutneys, and a Punjabi version of the chopped salad. Our favorite option? Potato-studded lamb curry, which juxtaposes a cinnamon-forward spice blend with the delicious petting-zoo pungency of grass-fed flesh.
Kasa Castro 4001 18th St. (at Noe), 621-6940.