We are really excited about Kakui, a new sushi spot that’s scheduled to open in two weeks. Today we stopped by this former Jamba Juice location to check the progress, and you don’t see much that makes you think “banana smoothie” anymore.
Years ago, there was a 50’s era restaurant here and maybe some features will re-emerge now. Much of the exterior stucco has been removed, and you see a nice wood-topped entry instead.
We took a quick look inside. The first thing that stands out is an elegant north wall with vertical cut-outs for sake. A sushi bar takes its position on the opposite side, but doesn’t overwhelm the place. Although Kakui’s tables and chairs were wrapped up, some espresso wood pieces peeked out.
Fortunately we ran into the proprietor, Yingji Huang, who was overseeing all the preparations today. He’s eager to fill the gap for a top-notch sushi restaurant, and we can’t argue with that goal. While Toshi Sushi is not far away, some serious competition is a very good thing!
Back in 2008, we asked about your Asian food consumption and half reported eating sushi once or twice monthly. The most ardent sushi eaters didn’t stick around much at all, traveling to Berkeley and even San Francisco for fresh fish morsels.
My sense (and hope) is that Kakui will shine – and look forward to giving it a test run soon.
More info: Kakui is at 2060B Mountain Blvd, in Montclair Village. You may reach them at (510) 338-1188.