A Japanese izakaya and sushi bar, Mizu, will launch later this spring in the hot LoHi hood. Brainchild of Hong Jian Lee, who operates East Moon Asian Bistro & Sushi in Westminster, Mizu was originally planned for the space that houses Sushi Ronin. When that deal did not work out, Lee continued to pursue his vision of opening a spot in the neighborhood.
"The more time we spent in LoHi, the more we realized what the people want in the area," Lee explained. "Mizu will not be fancy. With this izakaya concept, we are bringing a place that is more casual, more laid-back, more centered on the bar. Our goal is to show people what Japanese tapas are about," he added.
Mizu will bring a full on sushi menu, small tapas-like appetizers, some noodle dishes, and some skewers. Lee is planning on a menu that will change a lot as local and seasonal ingredients become available. He will also add a more daring section of the menu, a weekly special that will challenge diners to get out of their comfort zone with exotic food items.
Planned as a casual neighborhood hangout, Mizu wants to pair food with drinks not the other way around. The restaurant will highlight Japanese whiskeys, crafted cocktails, and a generous beer and wine list.
The ink is dry on the lease for a new space very close to where Sushi Ronin operates, but the exact location cannot yet be disclosed. The space, however, will be transformed into a modern Japanese pub that incorporates traditional elements with assistance from architect Jeff Sheppard of Roth Sheppard, the local firm that designed Izakaya Den.