Taïm chef Einat Admony’s couscous-focused West Village restaurant Kish-Kash closed last week after a little less than two years in the neighborhood. “We tried and tried and had amazing food there, but it seems like creating amazing food just wasn’t enough,” Admony says.
Despite receiving stellar reviews, business never quite picked up, and Admony says the restaurant’s location — at 455 Hudson Street, between Barrow and Morton Streets — wasn’t ideal. The chef debated keeping the restaurant open longer, but ultimately decided that it did not make sense financially to go on any longer.
All hope’s not lost though for fans of the restaurant’s labor-intensive, Moroccan-style couscous. Admony says she will bring back the couscous-centered mains like lemony chicken tagine; short rib with Swiss chard and white beans; and a spicy fish in tomato sauce, as a recurring Tuesday special at her nearby Middle Eastern restaurant Balaboosta starting next week.
Kish-Kash opened in the summer of 2018, and received rave reviews soon after opening. In a rare four-star review of the restaurant, Eater critic Robert Sietsema wrote that “the couscous itself, [is] rendered more perfectly than in any other New York establishment,” and that he’s “only tasted couscous this good in Morocco.” Time Out similarly praised the couscous at the colorful restaurant.
At the time of its opening, Kish Kash marked the fourth NYC project for Admony. She kickstarted her culinary career in NYC with the falafel hit Taïm in 2005, which has since expanded to five locations in the city and one in Washington, D.C. Balaboosta followed in 2010 in Nolita, and has since reopened in a space in the West Village. That space was previously occupied by another Admony project, Bar Bolonat, which served food from Israel, Yemen, the Maghreb, and closed in 2018.
Admony hasn’t ruled out the possibility of opening a version of Kish-Kash in a different location, but declined to provide details at this time.