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Kuu Brings Stunning Japanese Decor and Lunchtime Hours to Burnside Bridgehead

Take a photo tour and see the menus

Executive chef Yasuharu Nojiri says a portion of the Kuu dining room includes traditional Japanese-style Tatami rooms with kōshi-do-style latticework
| Dina Avila/EPDX

Wa Kitchen Kuu — Kuu for short — is now serving Japanese plates for lunch and weekend breakfast at 125 NE MLK (next door to surfer-hang Cosube). Quietly opening October 26, Kuu is sister restaurant to Shigezo Izakaya, Yataimura Maru, Kichinto Izakaya.

Speaking with Eater, Kuu co-owner and executive chef Yasuharu Nojiri says he took over all four of the restaurants from Tokyo-based TKS Group in July 2017. And though Kuu shares the traditional Japanese design of its sister locations, the restaurant brings many new dishes.

Kuu will mostly veer away from izakaya and sushi. Lunch focuses on a handful of udon and soba noodle bowls and six rice dishes, from poke to curry. Half portions cost $6 (see the full menus below).

There’s also a full bar, including lots of saké. Weekend breakfast serves Japanese-style tea, coffee, cakes, and pastries.

Nojiri expects dinner to begin in December, after he’s received enough customer feedback to gauge what’s right for the rapidly evolving neighborhood. He says Kuu is shaping up to be more of a sit-down Japanese restaurant featuring Japanese-style entrees.

Until dinner rolls out, Kuu’s hours are Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Here are photos of the immaculate design, followed by Kuu’s lunchtime menus:

Entering from NE MLK, diners find a cafe and bar area with counter seating (“this is not a sushi counter,” says Nojiri)
Dina Avila/EPDX
The cafe and bar area also includes six or so elevated tables and huge floor-to-ceiling windows
Dina Avila/EPDX
Kuu comes with Japanese-style dinnerware
Dina Avila/EPDX
A long hallway runs between the open kitchen and bar, connecting the front and back dining rooms
Dina Avila/EPDX
The rear of the restaurant includes Japanese-style Tatami rooms with sunken horigotatsu seating
Dina Avila/EPDX
A few tables are tucked into the rear of the restaurant, as well
Dina Avila/EPDX
The entrance on NE MLK
Dina Avila/EPDX
The lunchtime noodle dishes at Kuu
Courtesy of Kuu
The lunchtime rice dishes at Kuu
Courtesy of Kuu
Kuu’s specialty sandwiches
Courtesy of Kuu

Kuu [PDX]

 125 NE MLK Jr. Blvd., Portland, OR Visit Website
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