If you happen to be walking down Eighth Avenue in Sunset Park’s Chinatown, especially on the weekend, follow your nose to the charcoal fires. There are several carts and street-side windows selling Northern Chinese-style charcoal barbecue skewers–lamb, beef, fish balls, and more, for bargain basement prices.
Kokola Cafe is a rather eccentric restaurant, offering dishes such as red curry chicken “Indian style” over spaghetti, and corned beef hash with ramen, along with Hong Kong tea snacks and Japanese udon. Intriguing as those are, you might get distracted by Kokola’s to-go window, which features a white-hot charcoal fire, and a variety of skewers for $1. If you’re not in the mood for lamb, choose octopus, which absorbs the flavor of the smoke, and gets nicely caramelized around the edges.
5302 Eighth Avenue, Brooklyn
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 27, 2009