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New Neighbor: KOA

New to the Flatiron dining scene is KOA, a restaurant at the forefront of the Modern Chinese culinary movement. KOA Restaurant is the brain child of Japan’s Iron Chef, “Master of neo-Chinese cuisine,” Yuji Wakiya and Keiko Ono Aoki, whose initials give the restaurant its name.

KOA’s original dish, “SORBA,” is a specially crafted noodle dish, created by Keiko Ono Aoki and brought to life by Iron Chef Wakiya. From the team behind KOA, “Chef Wakiya has reimagined Shanghainese cuisine by combining the Japanese reverence for high quality ingredients with tried and true Chinese cooking techniques. In doing so, his culinary creations are able to capture the essence of umami, and this distinction has garnered accolades from across the globe.”

Options for the signature SORBA range from Healthy Vegetable SORBA with summer vegetables and a soymilk broth to Karaage SORBA with soy and ginger marinated Japanese fried chicken, cheese sticks, and endives. KOA’s soymilk is made from select soybeans, handcrafted in Japan. Also on the menu are Spicy Dan Dan Ramen, KOA fried rice, Hehe-a-he lobster, and steamed Chilean sea bass.

The interior of the restaurant has a large and central bar, long communal table and semi-private room; it is a great place to meet colleagues, friends, and dates for a quick cocktail or an evening together.  Catering to the local office crowd, KOA offers an affordable lunch menu and has the capacity to host corporate events and holiday parties.

Hours are Monday through Friday 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Happy hour specials are offered Monday through Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

KOA, 12 West 21st Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, (212) 388-5736.