Changes have been happening over at 140 North Cache Street, in the space previously occupied by Lotus Cafe. If you walked by the closed sliding glass door, you might have noticed the sound of power tools and a change in signage as the space was altered to make way for Suda: a Japanese izakaya.
Izakaya: an informal, Japanese pub traditionally serving up small plates for snacking while drinking.
The new restaurant was conceived by the Sudachi team: owners Dustin and Liz Rasnick alongside Jonathan Cohen, who will be the restaurant’s executive chef. Pairing some firsthand research in Japan with a respect for Japanese food and culture, the trio have cultivated a menu and experience that remains true to the izakayas of Japan.
Every dish on the menu is inherently Japanese, there is no fusion here. Expect simple, authentic food, often in small portions or shareable plates. Wash it down with sake, beer, wine, cocktails or shochu. While most would associate sake with Japan, shochu is actually a very popular spirit in Japan. The two can be differentiated in two ways: shochu is distilled, while sake is fermented and shochu is generally stronger than sake, often being double the strength of most sakes.
For those who are familiar with the previous Lotus restaurant, the Suda team has worked to make the space more Japenese-esque and move away from the previous Farmhouse look. The restaurant appears more dynamic with a lot of black glass and fixtures, as well as walls adorned with art by Jackson-based artist Ben Roth. Diners will also be able to view Suda’s raw bar through a newly interior window.
The menu at Suda features a raw bar with oysters and dressed sashimi, noodle bowls, katsu sandwiches, kushiyaki and fried offerings. Diners can expect four different kinds of ramen to satisfy their noodle cravings. Meanwhile, kushiyaki features a fun variety of meats and vegetables grilled on skewers. Easy to eat and enjoy! Katsu sandwiches are a growing trend in Japan, and traditionally feature fried pork cutlets and sliced cabbage. For the fried items, Suda remains true to a Japanese style of frying, which uses a coconut shrimp styling breading rather than tempura battered like you’ll find at many sushi establishments. On that note, there is no sushi on the menu at Suda, but there are plenty of vegan and gluten-free options.
Suda will open on Friday, January 25. The restaurant will be open for dinner six night a week, and closed on Sundays. The team hopes to add lunch to the menu come summer.