Fusion cuisine adds flair to restaurant scene

Well known Kamikaze fries spice up menu


Janae Harris / The Advocate

Two employees at Koja Kitchen in Berkeley serve up dishes on Sept. 17.

By Janae Harris, Assistant Photo Editor

After their appearance on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives”, many may have heard of the Japanese-Korean fusion food truck, Koja Kitchen.

At a great price in a convenient location, there’s no turning back once you’ve enjoyed what Koja Kitchen has to offer.

It provides hungry patrons with a mix of flavors that cannot be found anywhere else.

Koja’s Berkeley grand opening was November 2013. It is located at Telegraph and University avenues just three blocks away from the UC Berkeley campus.

Koja is known for its Kamikaze fries. The criss-cut fries are fried to a golden crisp and topped with Korean barbecue beef, sautéed onions, kimchi, green onions, and then drizzled with signature sauce and Japanese style mayonnaise.

The sweet and spicy toppings mesh so well with the crisp fries that it creates a well-balanced texture, making it a favorite on the menu.
Another go-to staple is the Koja, which is comparable to a burger.
Customers have a choice of vegetarian, beef, chicken or braised pork.
If a patron is not into sandwiches, he or she may choose rice bowls with different toppings and choices.

Private parking is free for the first hour, and is walking distance from the restaurant.

When you arrive you may find a line , but do not turn away.
The wait time is not long. After ordering, the food is ready within a few minutes.

Just be sure to leave room for dessert and try the mochimisu, Koja Kitchen’s take on the classic Italian tiramisu.
Its version includes mochi, which is a Japanese rice cake made from glutinous rice.

It is then topped with cocoa powder and a chocolate covered strawberry.
John Ko, a Berkeley resident who graduated from UC Berkeley last year with a history major, said, “My favorite is the short rib, even though they serve it only on the weekends. The trucks serve it daily”.
The bright lights inside the restaurant are black and red.

This gives a nice decorative Asian feel when customers walk in the restaurant, and makes them want to dine in rather than ordering food to go.

There is a line to order food and a line to pick up your order.
As patrons wait in line they can decide what they want to order from flat screen televisions that show the automated menu and include a mini section showing scenes of Koja Kitchen on the Food Channel network.
The Koja Kitchen business opened in 2011 with three owners named Eric, Alan and Hiep.

The Japanese-Korean food truck travels from San Jose all the way to Sacramento.

To find its mobile locations customers have to follow them on Twitter or Facebook.