Tucked inside the tony mixed-use cluster of Cady’s Alley, Kyojin breathes fresh life into the old home of L2 — a neon-lit, cave-like lounge that enjoyed a scene-y run during the better part of the 2000s (3315 Cady’s Alley NW, Suite B).
The 4,700-square-foot hidden gem off M Street NW will get a luxe new look from Francois Frossard Design, the Miami-based studio behind South Beach nightclub Story and other high-profile hospitality projects from Paris to Dubai.
At four-year-old Yume, executive chef and co-owner Saran “Peter” Kannasute experiments with offbeat flavors like lavender-smoked salmon, monkfish liver, truffle wasabi, and uni with torched wagyu behind a sleek sushi counter framed with a graffiti-splashed geisha mural. At 130-seat Kyojin, the Bangkok-born chef has more room to build upon the boundary-pushing sushi and omakase menus he’s known for. Hot izakaya offerings will be a new feature at Kyojin.
The windowless, maze-like layout will also carve out room for a sushi bar and sake tasting counter. A reservation-only omakase experience dubbed The Counter DC will go live in the spring.
“Kyojin represents a dream of all of ours: expanding our vision and bringing chef Kannasute’s world-class Japanese cooking to new audiences,” says Jeff King, co-owner at Yume Hospitality Group, in a statement. He says the team has been eyeing Georgetown and the empty L2 space next to Kafe Leopold for a while.
Like Yume, Kannasute will fly in fresh fish overnight from Japan and slice the seafood the day it’s served.
Vet D.C. mixologist Andrew Lamkin, who most recently led the bar at Georgetown’s The Graham Hotel, will create unexpected cocktails with Kannasute’s menu in mind. The bar will also be stocked with an expansive selection of curated sakes.
Kyojin means “giant” in English, but the zen redesign strives to “create a very intimate environment,” says Frossard, who’s also a partner on the project. Think: warm, indirect lighting and a color palette that draws inspiration from a Japanese wedding kimono, he says.
Kyojin is the latest sushi showstopper to enter D.C., starting with this year’s anticipated arrival of modern Japanese izakaya Shōtō at Midtown Center.