Kyle’s Kitchen, a fast-casual restaurant with a variety of healthy comfort food options, recently opened its newest location in Isla Vista, replacing Silvergreens on the corner of Pardall and Embarcadero Del Mar. The menu highlights all of the most popular burgers, salads and the new Krispy Chicken Sandwich that everyone has been craving, and I knew I had to try it after seeing lines out the door for this hot commodity.
Upon entering Kyle’s I.V., I was welcomed by lively employees and a clean, inviting atmosphere. There was a sign reading, “Our buns melt in your mouth!” Right then I was intrigued. I wanted to try an array of items on the menu, so I got the Seared Ahi salad, the Krispy Chicken Sandwich and their Hand Cut French Fries.
First, I tried the salad which I noticed comes in a pop bowl. This is a plastic bowl that’s packaged tightly with a lid, and the bottom expands when you’re ready to pour in the dressing and shake it up. This cool and convenient concept is original to Kyle’s Kitchen and has been used in Kyle’s locations for a while now. It’s also reusable so you can take it home to use for your own salads.
The Seared Ahi salad included a mix of fresh field greens, napa cabbage, mandarin oranges, wonton strips and a sesame ginger dressing. I thought the flavors blended perfectly, and it was refreshing and delicious. I loved the dressing and the crunch that the wontons bring to the dish as a whole. This was a great start to my taste test and I would definitely go back for this salad again!
Then I tried the Krispy Chicken Sandwich which has been getting lots of attention from locals in Isla Vista. It pairs fried chicken with either their OG Garlic Aioli or Kyle’s Spicy Sauce and dill pickles — all on a brioche bun. I opted for the spicy version. The chicken itself was very juicy on the inside and crunchy on the outside which created the perfect combination of textures. The saltiness from the pickles and tanginess from the spicy sauce added bursts of flavor to the sandwich. However, I thought the whole ensemble was quite simple since it only included two ingredients besides the bun and the patty. After taking my first few bites, I noticed that the bun really did melt in my mouth. It was soft, sweet and warm which made all the difference.
I later found out about a perfect alternative that would satisfy my need for the perfect chicken sandwich. Kyle’s allows you to substitute their Krispy Chicken Breast onto any of their other burgers which include ingredients such as lettuce, tomato, cheese, jalapenos and crispy onion strings. Next time I visit Kyle’s, I will definitely try this option out. However, if you like to keep things simple, the Krispy Chicken Sandwich (as is) would be perfect for you.
The Hand Cut French Fries are double fried and sprinkled with the perfect amount of herbs and seasoning. I loved how these had a bold flavor and a crunchy texture. When I first heard they were double fried, I was worried they would be too hard, but they were cooked to perfection. If you’re a sauce person like me, ranch and ketchup make the most delicious additives. I couldn’t stop eating them!
Overall, Kyle’s Isla Vista is an amazing addition to downtown I.V. The food is great and it’s just a quick walk or bike ride away from locals in the I.V. area. Even though the menu is on the simple side, there are a considerable amount of options that will satisfy everyone’s personal preferences. Not to mention, they’re always having deals! Kyle’s weekly menu deals are happening until the end of the year and feature one discounted menu item for the whole week each time. Stay tuned to their Instagram (@kyles_iv) to see which items are on sale every week.
A version of this article appeared on pg.10 of the November 12 print edition of the Daily Nexus.