(UPDATED 6/27/17) Kru, a contemporary Japanese cuisine restaurant and bar, recently relocated to Folsom Boulevard (near Alhambra Boulevard). Along with many other Kru fans who patronized the former J Street location in Midtown, I had been looking forward to its re-opening.
Billy Ngo, the chef, is a partner of Kru Contemporary Japanese Cuisine, Fish Face Poke Bar and Heathy Hounds Kitchen in Sacramento. See related post: Healthy Hounds Kitchen. Ngo is known as a “chef’s chef” as it is not unusual to find chefs from other establishments dining at Kru.
Kru shares a building and parking lot with OBO. See related post: OBO’ Italian Table & Bar – Sacramento Restaurants (part of an occasional series).
Not that I needed an excuse – but my daughter’s birthday provided just the right occasion to visit Kru on a recent Saturday evening. I perhaps waited a bit too long, but when I went online the Wednesday before to make reservations my choices of times was limited. I opted for 5:30 p.m. My thought was that it would be both easier to find a parking spot – and that afterwards we could open a nice bottle of wine and watch a movie at home – which we did.
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We arrived a few minutes early and secured the last parking spot in the larger parking lot on Seville Way that Kru shares with OBO. There is also a small parking lot behind the building. When we left after dinner I am sure that the person waiting to pull into our parking spot felt that they had hit the jackpot.
My first impression of Kru was that it seemed a lot more spacious than the J Street location. Later in the evening our waitress told us that actually it was not all that much larger (as it relates to the number of tables). All in all – I very much like the new layout and decor.
We sat near the good-sized sushi bar, so during the course of the evening we had the opportunity to observe a variety of dishes being expertly crafted.
As this was a birthday dinner I told my daughter to order whatever she wanted. In the end we decided to order a number of small plates so that we could sample a variety of the dishes offered.
It was not on the drink menu, but my daughter inquired as to the availability of sake nigori (unfiltered sake). Our waitress checked with the bar and confirmed that she could provide a carafe. That took care of that. I settled on a glass of dry white wine as I thought it was sure to go well with whatever we ordered.
The waitress presented my daughter with a tray of different sake cups to choose from before bringing her beverage. A very nice touch – but choose your sake cup wisely!
My daughter obviously did not pick the most stable of cups – she knocked over her sake cup twice and the waitress did once as well (she brought another splash of sake to compensate).
First off we were served the hamachi nigiri (yellowtail) and sake nigiri (salmon) over rice. I sampled one of the sake nigiri. My daughter opined later that the nigiri were “solid” – but not exceptional.
Next up – the sake steamed mussels served with sake and dashi broth and grilled bread. I love mussels – and we both loved this dish. So much so that we asked for additional grilled bread to soak up the juices. I will definitely order the mussels again on a future visit.
My daughter is a big fan of beef marrow bone and often orders it when it appears on a menu. The dish was served with wasabi mustard and grilled bread. I sampled the dish and my daughter enjoyed the rest.
The house-made pork gyoza (pot stickers) were great. My daughter described them as “porky goodness” and I have to agree.
You are probably wondering how we could possibly eat anything more – but we did. We needed to get our veggies – so next up was the shrimp and vegetable tempura. It was excellent.
To finish up we were offered dessert – and as this was a birthday celebration it was up to the birthday girl to decide what to order. We went with the mochi brownie (to be shared). The waitress had overheard our conversation and brought the mochi brownie (which comes with a couple of dollops of vanilla ice cream) with a birthday candle anchored on the side of the plate. The gesture was much appreciated as this was a special occasion.
Both my daughter and I enjoyed her birthday dinner at Kru, and I look forward to dining there again in the near future.
See related post: Sacramento Must Try Restaurants
Comments on Kru?
Have you been to the relocated Kru? What was your impression?
(UPDATED 6/27/2017) Kru recently announced that the popular restaurant is dropping lunch service – and instead focus on providing the best possible bar and dinner experience. Kru will now open for small bites at 4:00 p.m. and full dinner service will start on 5:00 p.m.