Cookbook author and TV cheftestant Kevin Roberts, aka "The Food Dude", and owner of East Village Tavern & Bowl, doesn't like to eat sushi in the subdued and austere quiet of a traditional sushi bar, though in researching his new Kamikaze 7 sushi restaurant, he did make a pilgrimage to Japan to climb Mount Fuji and eat at Tokyo's three-star Michelin Sukiyabashi Jiro, where he managed to wrangle two recipes from its legendary itamae — a signature sweet glaze that's painted on each piece of nigiri and his technique for smoking bonito.
So come March, when Roberts' Kamikaze 7 Sushi Joint opens in the Gaslamp, it'll be a good time mix of DJ's, godzilla movies and 15 kinds of sake bombs, including one that comes with a lobe of sea urchin. The windows of the restaurant-in-progress, at 411 Market Street, serve as his mood board and a teaser for what's to come; when Eater stopped by, there was a Kill Bill movie poster (they're constructing a chandelier made out of samurai swords), a set of chopsticks, a chart of the world's tuna and an anime cartoon.
Local management company, Jaime Partners (Gaijin, Flavor Del Mar, Herringbone, Enlightened Hospitalty Group's new Searsucker in Austin) is overseeing the project while NYC architect Greg Okshetyn designed the space, a 55 seat (12 outside on a patio), relatively intimate 2,000 square feet that'll include picnic tables, a high top sushi bar and a pair of giant, riveted jet engines that house the restaurant's bathrooms.
Local caterer Jeff Roberto of Sushi on a Roll, is overseeing the sushi part of the menu, while Roberts, who splits his time between San Diego and New York, where he's the consulting chef for the New York Yankees, told Eater that he'll be in charge of the hot side, and plans to feature pork belly tempura, Kobe beef and a version of a flash-fried wild mushroom dish that he had on the slopes of Mount Fuji.
Roberts is a Gaslamp resident and is hoping the restaurant will hit the downtown trifecta of tourists, conventioneers and locals; if all goes well, he'll follow this up with a K7 concept in New York.
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