There’s a new opportunity for long-term greatness at one of Fairfax’s most-respected restaurant spaces. The former Golden State storefront, which lasted 12 good years along one of the city’s most competitive restaurant stretches, is now turning into a Japanese-American spot with a rice bowl focus known as Yojimbo.
The upcoming Yojimbo represents a couple of different collaborations all at once. First up is the work being done between the two chefs behind the project, Keisuke Akabori (formerly of Spago) and Chris Ono, who has spent time at Mori Sushi and New York City’s lauded Eleven Madison Park. Both Ono and Akabori are also working together to bring Yojimbo to life under the umbrella group that owns Cofax, Prime Pizza, and Bludso’s Bar & Que. That group, including James Starr who is overseeing Yojimbo, previously operated the Golden State at the new Yojimbo address and have been a force on Fairfax for more than 10 years.
Yojimbo’s upcoming menu will lean into donburis and other fast-casual Japanese lunches, from takes on Okinawa taco rice to gyu-don with braised beef and a soft-boiled egg. There will also be draft beer and sake on offer for dine-in customers at the 15-seat counter, as well as a takeout window. The window (called Yowindow) and interior restaurant will eventually offer an expanded menu of Japanese-American dishes, priced for affordability along the busy block.
A small preview of Yojimbo’s food is going down from the Yowindow this Friday, with dishes running just north of $14 apiece. The restaurant is expected to open more formally sometime in early August at 426 N. Fairfax Avenue.