Report from the Hapa Kitchen Cook-out at Brooklyn Yards


The cooks from Hapa Kitchen pose for an exclusive Village Voice photo after serving hundreds at the Brooklyn Yards.

According to the Hapa Kitchen website, “hapa” is a Hawaiian word used to describe people of mixed race, generally half Asian and half Western. Now a consortium of cooks have seized on the word, not only as a tag for themselves, but as a name for a whole new realm of cooking, featuring American comfort food with Asian accents. This group threw a cook-out at Brooklyn Yards on Saturday, comprising a typical barbecue meal with some interesting twists. The food was good, and, at $7, the price was right.

make the jump to see what Hapa Kitchen served.

The line stretched around the Yards on Saturday evening, but fortunately it moved fairly quickly.

The Brooklyn Yards is the perfect venue for a summer evening cook-out, with tables and strings of yellow lights set out under the poplar trees. The occasional canoe drifts by on the canals, which almost evoke Venice, or maybe we mean Venice, California.

The menu included a choice of three entrees (tequila-soy marinated pork skewers, Vietnamese meatballs, and, for vegetarians, Buffalo barbecued tofu), matched with three sides. Curry potato-chickpea salad, honey-miso coleslaw sprinkled with black sesame seeds, and hoisin-chipotle baked beans were the sides. Everyone cleaned their plates.

The event was marred only by gouging drink prices (a separate concession), so Fork in the Road’s advice: sneak in your own pocket flask at the next Brooklyn Yards event.

Serving line at the Hapa Kitchen cook-out

The meal: we selected the pork kushiyashi skewers, which were deposited on a grilled bun and squirted with mustard sauce.

During the meal, pirates appeared on the Carroll Street Bridge over the Gowanus Canal.