After experiencing the severe recession in Italy, it was quite a astonishing to see shopping malls jam-packed with people buying like there's no tomorrow.
Source: Farewell Milan, hello Raanana - Israel Opinion, Ynetnews
Does "quite a astonishing" mean a lot of astonishing since we have "a" after quite? In addition to that, dictionary says that "quite a" is used before some nouns while in the above text we have an adjective. Shouldn't be "quite astonishing?"