From Tokyo to Venice: J's Kitchen to take over Stroh's
Last week Eater LA reported that Abbot Kinney institution Stroh’s Gourmet had closed. It turns out the new leaseholder of 1239 Abbot Kinney is Kumiko Ueki, who was passing out flyers about her small restaurant at this weekend's Abbot Kinney Festival. Ueki says she will open macrobiotic eatery J’s Kitchen "by the end of October" inside the former Stroh’s space.
J’s Kitchen, which already exists in Tokyo, will serve up vegan fare with Tokyo flair to Abbot Kinney’s hungry hordes. Ueki, who owns several restaurants in the greater Tokyo area, says this is her first U.S. venture. Most of the dishes at J’s, which is named after her son Jerome, will be of the grab 'n' go variety. Also, Ueki says she's not sure if J's will be open for breakfast (a shame as Stroh’s was known for being a fantastic meeting spot for a quick cup of coffee and a bite in the morning to Venice residents in the know).
A quick look at the menu from J's Japanese website reveals a few tempting clues as to what the food might be like at the new casual vegan cafe. A teriyaki tempeh sandwich "set" at J’s Tokyo goes for around $15. However, don’t expect Ueki to have the same prices here that she has in the Hiroo neighborhood in Japan's capital, where people are used to paying $20 for a decent lunch. Prices are likely to be much cheaper at her Venice outpost.
J's Kitchen, 1239 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice.
-- Charlie Amter
Photo of a J's Tokyo location from J's Kitchen