Makoto Okuwa. Photograph courtesy Really like Makoto.
Global restaurateur Makoto Okuwa has a phrase in brain as he returns to DC to open Love, Makoto, an eclectic Japanese meals hall that is slated to debut afterwards this calendar year. “Kokyou ni nishiki wo kazaru,” says the chef, which loosely interprets to “Return dwelling with glory.”
“Bringing this challenge to DC is extremely meaningful—to clearly show the people today I care about what I have been doing,” claims Okuwa, a Japanese indigenous who bought his get started in America cooking at Sushi Taro in Dupont Circle about 20 decades back. Proprietor Nobu Yamazaki, with whom Okuwa is continue to shut, and his late father assisted Okuwa get a green card and launch his career. And there’s practically nothing else like Like, Makoto in Washington with its combine of rapid-get distributors, sit-down dining establishments, a bakery, and industry, all focused on Japanese food stuff and tradition. “It’s something I’m proud of and I want to present the people I appreciate,” he states.
Okuwa has a ton to exhibit about his two many years in the cafe industry. Immediately after ten many years of teaching underneath grasp sushi chefs in Japan—a process that started when he was 15—Okuwa arrived to DC. The town served as a springboard. Right here, he connected with movie star chef Masaharu Morimoto, and later on served as head sushi chef at Morimoto’s eponymous dining establishments in Philadelphia and New York, as well as showing moreover him on Iron Chef. Later on Okuwa opened his own dining places, which include Sashi Sushi + Sake Lounge in Los Angeles, and a namesake Miami restaurant, Makoto—a partnership with mega-restaurateur Stephen Starr (of regional Le Diplomate fame). Much more Makotos followed in Panama and Mexico Town.
And now, a new idea for DC. Okuwa has partnered with Unconventional Diner’s Eric Eden for the Capitol Crossing venture. The Assets Group Partners enhancement, located concerning Union Station and Mt. Vernon Triangle, has teased other large culinary names in excess of the several years, which includes a rumored Eataly and a lot more concrete Union Sq. Cafe place from restaurateur Danny Meyer—neither of which came to fruition. But Love, Makoto guarantees to convey vacation spot-deserving food and drink.
The L-shaped house will have three whole-support principles alongside the for a longer period stretch with individualized seating for 50 to 75. A Japanese barbecue will flip out grilled meats, seafood, and greens on ceramic charcoal grills (the building does not allow live fireplace). Yet another cafe will provide omakase-fashion sushi—though a lot quicker and much more informal than some of the splashy tastings all-around city, with menus beginning in the $20 assortment. There’ll also be an izakaya with sakes, robata skewers, and tiny plates.
In addition to the sit-down principles, Enjoy, Makoto will involve extra standard food stuff hall stalls and communal indoor and outside seating. A wide range of sellers will serve Japanese fried rooster, udon noodles, hand-rolls, mochi, and a lot more. A Japanese bakery helmed by pastry chef Manabu Inoue, another Morimoto alum who worked at Michelin-starred accommodations in Europe, will specialize in sweets like rice flour doughnuts and savory breads. There’ll also be a little retail market for specialized substances, tableware, and sake vessels made use of in the eating places, furthermore pantry items, paper items, and extra.
“Carefully curated, matters you just cannot invest in on Amazon,” claims Eden.
The food items hall will also optimize tech for easy pre-ordering, on-internet site ordering, and other buys. Rather of a coat room, electronic lockers can retail outlet diner’s cumbersome possessions.
The group is hoping for an opening later this calendar year. However supplied pandemic delays, Makoto’s really like letter to DC may get there early following.
Adore, Makoto. 200 Massachusetts Ave., NW.