Food & Drink

Meet the latest restaurant coming to the 700 block of K Street

Sandwiches and sides that fuse Japanese and Korean ingredients are the specialty of KoJa Kitchen, which will open locations in Rocklin and the 700 block of K Street in 2017.
Sandwiches and sides that fuse Japanese and Korean ingredients are the specialty of KoJa Kitchen, which will open locations in Rocklin and the 700 block of K Street in 2017. Courtesy KoJa Kitchen

The landscape for eating and drinking near downtown’s Golden 1 Center continues to take shape, this time with a bit of Asian fusion flavor. KoJa Kitchen will be coming to the 700 block of K Street, joining a development project that includes upward of 16 retail tenants and more than 130 new housing units. The mixed-use project is expected to be completed in late 2017.

KoJa Kitchen, which is based in San Jose, is a familiar brand for those who follow the mobile food scene. The KoJa Kitchen truck, which specializes in Japanese and Korean foods, has been a staple of Sacramento’s annual SactoMoFo mobile food events. KoJa Kitchen has since expanded into a series of brick-and-mortar restaurants with locations around the Bay Area and a Fresno location scheduled to open by the end of 2016.

Along with the upcoming eatery on K Street, KoJa Kitchen will open a Rocklin location in early 2017. But the downtown KoJa Kitchen will be unlike any of its other eateries, with the upcoming Sacramento version to include a full bar that will be in a basement space.

The development project in the 700 block of K Street includes a mix of primarily Sacramento-based businesses. Leases have so far been secured for a locally owned Jewish deli, a new Japanese restaurant concept from Billy Ngo of Kru, Insight Coffee Roasters, Smoosh Ice Cream Sandwich Factory, and a new project from the team behind Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar.

Though the headquarters for KoJa Kitchen is in San Jose, its owner, Thomas Quach, has longtime ties to Sacramento. He attended Luther Burbank High School and California State University, Sacramento, before moving to the Bay Area and starting his food business. Quach has since returned to Sacramento to live full time.

“I’m really excited about downtown Sacramento,” Quach said. “Sacramento has a pretty tight community and they appreciate good, quality foods. I think downtown will be a good location with the arena and the 700 block. It’s a great opportunity for us.”

KoJa Kitchen specializes in Asian-styled sandwiches that include options of Korean beef, teriyaki-style portobello mushroom and other proteins served between fried garlic rice buns. Its menu also features rice bowls, Asian-themed tacos and a series of appetizers. The downtown location’s bar program will be based on Asian-style cocktails.

Plans call for KoJa Kitchen on K Street to be open from lunch time to late-night hours. Bay Miry, a principal of the 700 block development team, hopes to capture patrons from nearby offices, those heading to and from Golden 1 Center, and residents who will call the 700 block home.

“We’re expecting to have a major lunch rush,” Miry said. “Our development team felt like that area was underserved with quality fast-casual places. We’re addressing a major need of the downtown core by bringing this concept into the mix.”

Chris Macias: 916-321-1253, @chris_macias

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