Found within the heart of chic Yorkville, Kasa Moto has taken over the prime real estate at 115 Yorkville Avenue at Hazelton. This new kid on the block in the A list shopping district is part of the growing Chase Hospitality Group, who have added this Japanese restaurant to their portfolio which includes The Chase Fish & Oyster, Little Fin and Colette.
Designed by II by IV Design, the 12,000 square foot, two-storey space, formerly occupied by Remy’s exudes a cool charm with its neutral palette of gray, black and white, leaving the colour to the izakaya, robata, sushi and sashimi dishes being created by Executive Chef Michael Parubocki (formerly Momofuku Noodle Bar), Chef de Cuisine Daisuke Izutsu (formerly Don Don Izakaya) and Sushi Chef Tsuyoshi Yoshinaga (formerly Yasu). And note: all seafood served here, like its sister restaurants, is sustainably sourced, and servers can easily give the origin of almost all menu ingredients.
For date night when there’s a plan post-dinner, the long bar is a comfortable spot for conversation and to share house creations such as the inventive Vegan Tempura roll ($10) with zucchini, yam and eggplant or for fish-lovers, the Rainbow roll ($18) with tuna, salmon, fluke and yellowtail. No surprise you’ll be rubbing elbows with those who are usually found in the local style pages, indulging in the unique cocktails like Sake Sangria with fresh lychee ($14).
Toss in a couple of robata, like the Asparagus with ponzu brown butter sauce and black sesame ($8.00) or the tasty Pork Belly with ume glaze ($13) and a couple of Thai Collins ($14) with lemongrass and ginger, and you’ve gotten a good first taste of what Kasa Moto offers. While the sun still shines, Kasa Moto’s upper level patio provides a place to sample and people-watch the busy streets of Yorkville and the catwalk corrider of Old York Lane..
When it’s two or more for a big dinner out, reserve one of the booths, divided by delicate hand-painted ethereal murals and settle in for Japanese that is more than just a California roll (although they do make them here too). Start with the Wagyu Beef Carpaccio ($24) with a Japanese-inspired aioli, Kinoko Salad ($13) with wild mushrooms, soy butter and crunchy enoki tempura, Soba Noodle Salad ($11) with crushed cashews, miso and tahini and the spicy Kasa Moto roll ($22) with scallop, lobster and salmon. And all ingredients get a starring role – servers will freshly grate the wasabi tableside after dishes arrive.
For diners who are hungry – consider some of the large plates like the Whole Grilled Sea Bass ($36) with grilled lemon, tabasco, nori flakes and another unique flavour: wasabi chimichurri; Black Cod ($32) with ricotta red miso, bok choy and bonito or for beef connoisseurs: Wagyu Beef ($24 USA sourced/$40 Japan sourced), cooked tableside with a tasty ginger, garlic and ponzu sauce.
High rollers (or those who want to indulge) can toss out their platinum cards and choose the expensive but probably worth it Chef’s Omakasa ($120 pp), an eight course tasting menu exclusive to the sushi bar. Kasa Moto also has Bar Moto, an upper level event space featuring oversized portraits of geishas for private events.
This contemporary dining establishment aims to fit in with its neighbours, like One Restaurant and Sassafraz, offering inventive Japanese cuisine for fashionable foodies.