Alejandro Torio is a busy boy this week. Besides helping to open Le Royale tomorrow, he’s partnering with Iman R. Azeharie (also at one point a promoter) to open Kuta, a 40-seat Southeast Asian restaurant on the Lower East Side featuring the dishes of Azeharie’s native Indonesia. Chef Jutti Jitnopkun formerly of Rain, Tuk Tuk, and others is busting out his grandma’s tamarind chili sauce for meat and seafood skewers and turning out entrées like grilled Sumatra beef rendang, Manado spicy duck curry, and grilled red-curry-lemongrass chicken and garlic fries. (Care to see the menu?) The beer-and-wine license arrives today, Torio says, so sake cocktails all around.
Kuta, 65 Rivington St., nr. Allen St.; 212-777-5882.Kuta menu
James Oseland, just hired as editor-in-chief of Saveur, also happens to be a Malaysian-Indonesian food guru. His new book, Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking From the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia calls on the twenty years he spent in that part of the world. So how do people who spent the last twenty years traveling no farther than the Coney Island F stop make sense of the cuisine? And where can they sample its highlights? Oseland walks us through the type of menu you'll find in most Malaysian restaurants, in his own words.