It feels like just days ago that Eater was announcing that Hawaiian and poke spot Koa Lua — probably because it was, in fact, just three weeks ago.
Now the restaurant from Yann Levy (Escondite, Biiru) is poised to conquer the downtown scene for the healthy-leaning Hawaiian raw fish bowls which have taken over North America in the last year — the new Koa Lua is on the west side of downtown at Sainte-Catherine and Mackay, joining the existing Union Avenue location.
Levy explains to Eater that the Ste-Catherine location is bigger, and more of a sit-down spot open into the evenings, compared to the Union venue’s lunch crowd. The menus are identical — a selection of eight of the rice bowls, plus a couple of extra options such as Hawaiian canned-meat based snack Spam musubi.
Levy says that menu is going to expand soon, to add some warm winter options, including a teriyaki pork bowl and Hawaiian-style broth and noodles in the form of saimin soup. As for poke expansions, a salmon option with pecorino and truffle, and a green curry bowl with pickled persimmon are slated to join the menu.
Since the space is bigger, there are also plans to use the mezzanine level to serve ice cream — Eater will have that news when it’s no longer below freezing outside.
STATUS — Koa Lua is open Monday to Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 1446 Sainte-Catherine West.