Ula owner talks menu hits and misses

(Gazette Photo by Rebeca Oliveira) Rhubarb-cardamom quick bread cake and an iced latté from the Ula kitchen.

After five years in their Brewery Complex home, Ula Café owners Korinn Koslofsky and Kate Bancroft have perfected dozens of recipes, including some that were never loved very much outside the kitchen.

Koslofsky’s favorite “failure” was a childhood-inspired treat: vanilla wafer banana butterscotch pudding.

“It just did not sell. We never knew what it was, it was priced the same as our other puddings. It was so good and such a labor of love,” Koslofsky told the Gazette.

Not to say that the successes haven’t been plentiful—with a seasonal menu, the Ula kitchen is constantly offering new treats.

“I really love all of our quick breads [cakes]. Everything is baked in-house, except the bread the sandwiches go on. The quick breads change with the seasons—right now we’ve got rhubarb and cardamom,” Koslofsky said.

As for the location at 284 Amory St., Koslofsky said securing it was a combination of factors.

“The location had a lot of space for what we needed to do: a ton of seating, space for laptoppers, kids, and the [Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation] NDC was super helpful—they were a really great liaison for a small business,” she said.

The café’s name also comes with a story.

“We have this huge red brick wall, and we really liked the idea that red would be our color. Then Kate’s sister punched ‘red’ into a baby name website and Ula meant  ‘sacred red’ in Hawaiian,” Koslofsky said. “But it’s also a river, and an acronym. It could be a blank slate for us that way.”

In her off-hours, Koslofsky likes to visit other JP eateries. Her favorites are Ten Tables at 597 Centre St. and Alex’s Chimis at 358c Centre St.

I go [to Ten Tables] any chance I get, even if just to have a beer at the bar. I also really love Alex’s Chimis. You can get a whole roasted chicken there for 10 bucks,” she said.

Ula’s website is ulacafe.com.

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