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Easthampton’s Kisara Asian Bistro features Japanese, Korean food

  • Mitchell Gohn, one of the four co-owners of Kisara Asian Bistro, prepares sushi for the lunch hour at the new Japanese and Korean restaurant on Cottage Street in Easthampton GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

  • Kisara asian bistro opened at 88 Cottage Street in Easthampton on September 13, 2017. —GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

  • Mitchell Gohn, one of the four co-owners of Kisara asian bistro, prepares sushi for the lunch hour at the new Japanese and Korean restaurant on Cottage Street in Easthampton on Wednesday, September 20, 2017. —GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

  • Kisara asian bistro has opened on Cottage Street in Easthampton. —GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

  • Detail of menu at Kisara Asian Bistro in Easthampton. GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

  • Staff at Kisara Asian Bistro prepare to open for lunch. After a three-month renovation to the space at 88 Cottage St., the restaurant opened Sept. 13. GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

  • Kisara asian bistro has opened at 88 Cottage Street in Easthampton. —GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING



@kate_ashworth
Monday, September 25, 2017

EASTHAMPTON — Good luck getting a table — the Kisara Asian Bistro has been packed since it opened its doors earlier this month.

Tables are filled, people line up out the door and every inch of seat on the sushi bar gets taken.

The rush of business came as a surprise, co-owner Mitchell Gohn said.

While the city has a few Chinese and Asian restaurants, the new Japanese and Korean restaurant at 88 Cottage St. brings new tastes to Easthampton. The menu includes a variety of sushi and sashimi as well as Japanese ramen noodles, Japanese-style curry and hibachi.

It’s been so busy — from the time they open the doors at 11 a.m. to closing time at 9:30 p.m. — that Gohn said family members have helped ease the rush. They need more employees, he said.

“We’ve had no time to put a hiring sign out,” Gohn said.

Gohn, along with Louis Ryu, Trang Le and Kingdom Wah, after years of working in the sushi and Asian restaurant industry, decided to venture out on their own this.

Gohn and Ryu, who is the head chef, both worked at Master Chef in South Hadley. Ryu said that many Master Chef customers would drive from Easthampton to eat there, which is part of the reason he wanted to open in the city.

Ryu has worked in the industry for 20 years and said it was time to work for himself rather than for someone else.

Gohn said an important quality of the restaurant is getting fresh and quality ingredients.

About twice a week, they pick up fish, scallops and other seafood from Boston fish markets.

“We don’t really have the time,” Gohn said. “But we make the time.”

Gohn said it’s time-consuming, but important to get quality fish rather than going through a distributor.

In other restaurants Gohn has worked at, management does not care as much about the quality of the fish.

In one week, Gohn said they’ve gone through 150 pounds of salmon and 100 pounds of tuna.

They started preparing the restaurant this summer, renovating the space which housed the coffee shop Manhan Cafe for several years.

Gohn said there were problems with getting the necessary amount of natural gas due to a gas moratorium in Easthampton, which they were not aware of during the planning stages. The restaurant was able to solve the problem by sharing available gas from neighboring stores.

Now that the restaurant is up and running — and extremely busy — Gohn said “we’re still working out the kinks.”

Caitlin Ashworth can be reached at cashworth@gazettenet.com.