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Cheap Eats: KoJa Kitchen

Order the must-try Kamikaze fries.


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LeeAnne Jones

Why go? Inventive, Instagram-worthy Asian street eats propelled KoJa—short for Korean-Japanese—from food truck to brick-and-mortar empire in just three years. Its eighth restaurant recently opened in Walnut Creek.
What’s the vibe like? Moody and modern, with dark gray walls and dark wood tabletops, a large mural of tigers and cherry blossoms, and abstract light fixtures that look like fireworks.
What to order? The eponymous KoJa is like a hand-held rice bowl, with protein and toppings stuffed between two fried garlic rice buns. Try it with spicy-sweet Korean BBQ short ribs and katsu aioli, or portobello mushroom and pineapple. Save room for kamikaze fries topped with minced beef, kimchee, and Japanese mayo.
Added bonus: The house-made strawberry-mango-mint lemonade is a tart refresher following all that spice. For 50 cents more, get it frozen.
How much? KoJa sandwiches are $6.50–$9.75. Fries and wings are $6.25–$8.45. Rice bowls ($7.65–$11.95) and tacos ($3.25–$3.95) round out the menu.
Where is it? 1550 Olympic Blvd., Walnut Creek, (925) 448-8218, kojakitchen.com. Lunch and dinner daily.

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