Daniel Takata and Jennifer Joo’s quick-service Asian restaurant, Takata-ya, held its soft opening Monday near the mouth of the R Street Corridor after spending the summer under construction.
The 3,900-square foot building at 1100 R St. previously housed Amaro Bistro & Bar before the Italian restaurant closed in January. Takata swapped paintings of Italian clergy for 80-year-old hats, paddles and dolls from his grandmother’s Okinawan dancing days, he said, but kept the chandeliers and walls of books previously seen at Amaro.
State workers on 30-minute lunch breaks, cash-strapped artists living in the WAL building next door and families in the mood for cheap eats figure to make up much of Takata-ya’s clientele. It’s a crowd Takata and Joo know well from the I Love Teriyaki franchise they manage at 1410 21st St.
“This is not the happening, hip bar,” Takata said. “We just want it to be a casual, relaxing environment for people that want to wind down or just before they get ramped up to go out on the other side of R Street.”
Most noodle, teriyaki and sushi dishes fall between -, similar to I Love Teriyaki’s prices. Curries, ramen and sashimi will all eventually land on the R Street restaurant’s yet-to-be-finalized menu, while teriyaki burgers didn’t make the transition over from N Street.
Plans for island brunch on Saturdays and Sundays have been scrapped, though Takata — who was raised in Hawaii and wore an aloha shirt Monday — said some dishes from his childhood will eventually join the all-day weekend menu.
“I think Daniel and Jennifer are a great local addition to the corridor,” building owner Bay Miry said in a text message. “They possess the experience and work ethic to succeed. I feel honored to have them as a tenant.”
Takata-ya is only place in Sacramento to serve Pepsi offshoot Stubborn Soda, Takata said, though the cane sugar-based drinks are also on tap at Garden of Eat’n in Roseville and Auburn and were previously available at now-shuttered Domo Express.
Beer, wine and cider are also available on tap, including Japanese products such as Hitachino and Asahi, and Takata-ya tested out a cocktail made with unfiltered sake and strawberry Ramune soda at a viewing party for Saturday’s middleweight boxing title match.
Joo will manage I Love Teriyaki during the day before joining her husband at Takata-ya for the evening rush. Takata-ya will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., with a grand opening anticipated sometime in October.
This article was updated to include a comment from the building owner.
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