It finally happened! Bernal neighbors Tim and Erin Archuleta, the glamorous celebrity duo who created the intergalactically famous Ichi Sushi+Ni Bar, have officially opened their new oyster bar. It’s called Ichi Kakiya, and you’ll find it in their ancestral storefront at 3369 Mission, across the street from Safeway in Bernal’s burgeoning NanoTokyo district.
If you remember the ancestral Ichi storefront, you’ll recall that was a small space. It remains so to this day, with seating for just 21 cozy Ichinauts inside. The interior has received a nice freshening up, however, along with some sexy new wall murals.
But why oysters? Inside Scoop tells a cute part of the tale:
As Jonathan Kauffman reported last fall, [… ] Erin Archuleta and her husband had a very sweet and romantic reason for turning the original restaurant space into an oyster shop: They fell in love eating oysters.
When Tim was a sushi chef at Tokyo Go-Go, he convinced his new girlfriend, who was born in Michigan, to try oysters: First tiny kumamotos, then larger varieties, then trips to local oyster bars. “On Sundays we would go have glasses of champagne and oysters, and that was our courtship,” she says.
You can peruse Ichi Kakiya’s full menu here. Meanwhile, the Bernalwood Action News Cuisine Team’s undercover reporting has revealed that the oysters are highly delicious.
Indeed, your Bernalwood editor managed to infiltrate an exclusive, celebrity-filled pre-opening party at Ichi Kakiya last week by by cleverly disguising myself as (… wait for it…) the editor of “a fashion-obsessed Bernal Heights news magazine.” This ruse worked like a charm, and before long Bernalwood was sampling more than a few of Ichi Kakiya’s delicious ponzu-dressed oysters while sipping a very large glass of very delicious cold sake. #winning!
Chef Tim was in fine spirits (as you might have noticed in the image above), and it was great to see him behind the counter again in Ichi’s ancestral restaurant space. Also, we can confirm that he has mad oyster-shucking skillz.
Ichi Kakiya is highly recommended if you are bivalve-inclined, and big congrats and best wishes to Chef Tim and Neighbor Erin.
PHOTOS: Exterior and Chef Tim by Telstar Logistics. Oysters by Anna Hale courtesy of Ichi Kakiya