The space at 12 West 21st Street that was occupied by the New York outpost of Sen and closed in December, is coming alive once again. The new incarnation, Koa, is being opened by Rocky Aoki's widow, Keiko Ono Aoki, in partnership with the team that owned Sen, and Japanese "Iron Chef" Yuji Wakiya, who is known for his Chinese cuisine. "Japanese people love taking different foods and making them their own,'' says Tora Matsuoka, one of the Sen partners.
This is not Wakiya's first New York venture. He opened a restaurant with Ian Schrager in the Gramercy Park Hotel back in 2007. "This will be less fancy and more affordable and the portions will be larger,'' assures Matsuoka, who says that there will be a broad modern Chinese menu with a focus on noodle dishes. Koa is projected to open at the end of June or beginning of July and, sorry Sen fans, there will be no sushi.
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