Restaurant News & Reviews

Midtown Japanese chain franchisees to open quick-service restaurant at 11th and R streets

Wave goodbye to midtown's Amaro

The Italian restaurant run by the operators of the Shady Lady Saloon and the drummer of the Deftones closed Jan. 26 after a year in midtown.
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The Italian restaurant run by the operators of the Shady Lady Saloon and the drummer of the Deftones closed Jan. 26 after a year in midtown.

A quick-service Japanese restaurant with a Hawaiian flair will replace Amaro Bistro & Bar at the corner of R and 11th streets this fall, its owners announced Wednesday.

Husband-and-wife pair Daniel Takata and Jennifer Joo, who already run the midtown I Love Teriyaki, plan to serve a near-identical menu of sushi, bento boxes and stir-fry noodles for around $10 at Takata-Ya. They'll also add a few other dishes they can't serve at the chain restaurant at 21st and N streets such as a ramen bowl with pork chasu, noodles, kamaboko, bean sprouts and green onions Joo often makes at home.

"It's going to be very similar to (I Love Teriyaki) with lots of little differences," Takata said. "We want it to be somewhere you can bring your family of four to eat for less than $50, somewhere people can afford to go twice during the same week."

Takata and Joo aim to draw state workers on 30-minute lunch breaks, creators living in the nearby Warehouse Artists Lofts and people beginning a night out in the R Street Corridor — the kind of people who weren't frequenting Amaro.

Owned by Deftones drummer Abe Cunningham and the people behind the Shady Lady Saloon and B-Sides, Amaro failed to find enough takers for Italian entrees that often crept up toward $20 and flamed out after just one year in business.

Takata was born and raised in Hawaii but is of Japanese descent. Other restaurateurs familiar with his background have long urged him to open a breakfast eatery with dishes such as linguica with eggs and white rice, he said.

The couple will wait to see if they can handle both restaurants before starting weekend brunch at Takata-ya, but will sell other Hawaiian dishes like Spam musubi, traditional ahi poke and loco moco (white rice, chopped hamburger patty, fried egg and brown gravy) from the tentative opening date.

The Bee's Benjy Egel is launching a new effort to cover Sacramento's dining and beer scene. Please send tips and story ideas by email at begel@sacbee.com, on Twitter @BenjyEgel or by phone at (916) 321-1052.

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