There's been a Kigo Kitchen in Boston for over a year, but the owners are from Seattle and always wanted to open here with their concept of fast-casual Asian bowls.
The base is a choice of yakisoba noodles, rice (white or brown), or just Asian greens. Add protein (chicken, pork, pepper stake, tofu), a sauce (teriyaki, lemongras, peanut, coconut curry, pineapple tamarind or chili), and top with a few more veggies, and blast that baby for 30 seconds in a serious wok. Bang, you've got lunch for under $9!
And if the 288 combinations seem daunting, they've got six "chef's choice" options as well. Plus Japanese beer and some amazing Kigo Crisps with a killer sweet & sour dip.
It's the first restaurant for chef Heather Nucifora; until now she's been a dietician and consultant, but she came on board for this project. Her line has five wok stations in addition to prep cooks, dishwashers and the folks taking orders at the front. When the line is out the door, it's can be a 15-minute wait, but from the time you actually place your order to the moment you get your bowl, it's less than 3 minutes.
Target audience is obviously the Amazon crowd who pour out from the towers at lunchtime in search of sustenance with only two real criteria: fast and cheap. "Kigo aims to add 'tasty' to that equation," says Steve Hooper, the restaurant's co-founder. During this week's soft opening, they managed to feed 250 people in the neighborhood's two hour lunch rush.
Hooper's team (grad students from the Darmouth MBA program) had always intended to open in Seattle, but jumped on the chance to take over a fully built space on the Northeastern University campus in Boston. "It gave us the chance to test the concept," says Hooper, "but we always wanted to be in South Lake Union."
The memorable graphics are by Creature, the very creative graphics team on Capitol Hill.