According to a recent permit filing, Musubai Kai is slated to open in the Pike Place Market area at 108 Union Street.
A representative of Musubai Kai was not immediately available for commentary upon What Now Seattle’s request.
While an official opening date and what Musubai Kai plans to offer have yet to be confirmed, according to Musubai’s website, they plan to open sometime soon. The website also adds that Musubai Kai aims to create the experience of the best musubi in Seattle, Washington.
For those that are unfamiliar, Musubi is considered to be a popular Hawaiian snack or appetizer consisting of a block of rice, often seasoned with rice vinegar, with a slice of grilled or spam, typically wrapped in nori (seaweed). It aims to be a simple yet flavorful treat that showcases the fusion of Japanese and Hawaiian culinary influences. Musubi is also portable, making it a convenient option for picnics, lunches, or snacks on the go.
Behind Musubai Kai is Jason Koh, who also owns Japonessa Sushi Cocina. According to Japonessa Sushi Cocina’s website, “We are a sushi cocina restaurant and bar featuring a Japanese core concept with hints of Latin flair in Seattle and Bellevue. From traditional nigiri and sashimi to rolls decorated with jalapeno, cilantro, and mango, Japonessa takes traditional Japanese cooking fundamentals and fuses them with flavors from Latin America.”
An article from Bellevue Club about Japonessa states, “In 2008, Beach, a renowned local sushi chef, first approached Bellevue Club members Jason and Jinny Koh about the possibility of opening a restaurant together. They had partnered before with the Belltown restaurant Wasabi Bistro and worked well together—but Jason had reservations about the timing.”
“Eventually the idea of working with Beach again wore him down. “I thought, it’s time for us to open our restaurant. This is the guy,” he says. “Billy’s work ethic and culinary talents are unparalleled. And he blends flavors like no one I’ve seen.”
“Immediately, Beach went to work on the creative concept for the menu. “He uses components from everywhere that he knows work well together. He’s done that with all his venues—he uses ingredients like pickled jalapeños or spicy seared crab, and he loves spice. You can see that throughout the menu,” Martin says. “Billy is always looking to make an impact with the flavors.”
“Meanwhile, Jason’s unique talents were put to use in the business side of the operation—and most enjoyable for him—the design and style of the spaces. For instance, he points out that the black wood that lines the entrance of the Bellevue location is treated using an ancient Japanese process that chars the wood, coating it to protect it from fires. Juxtaposed against elegant chandeliers and sleek countertops, the look perfectly embodies the overarching concept.”