A brand new Japanese concept called Kai Lounge is making its debut at Pacific City in Huntington Beach, located at 21058 Pacific Coast Hwy.
The latest project from Wild Thyme Restaurant Group is expected to open on the second story of Pacific City in mid-September, according to a representative. Kai Lounge will present an immersive dining experience and nightlife venue inspired by modern Japanese culture and cuisine. The kitchen will be run by Culinary Director Jay Bogsinske and Executive Chef Tin Nguyen, who will present a menu of contemporary Japanese cuisine. The 6,500-square-foot restaurant will feature multiple lounge areas, dining rooms, and bars.
Kai’s interior takes cues from Japanese design, with contrasting tones of black and white, softened by sandy neutrals and balancing florals in cherry blossom pink. The restaurant’s outdoor patio will face the Pacific City grounds, while a circular indoor-outdoor bar will peer into the main dining room. Kai’s main dining room offers seating for 150, including 14 at its Yakitori Bar. Finally, a secluded Whiskey Room, limited to just ten seats, offers guests an intimate dining space. The room will double as an Omakase Speakeasy where Executive Chef Nguyen will offer a multi-sensory, 18-course Omakase experience.
In the main dining area, customers can expect various Japanese classics, such as blue crab-stuffed jalapeños, hamachi Crudo, pork belly bao buns, uni & Chuka noodles, miso-marinated Japanese black cod, lemongrass lamb chops, and a bone-in filet mignon. From stir-fried wok creations to the inimitable Omakase experience, the menu at Kai Lounge was designed to explore the different facets of Japanese dining. As for drinks, Kai Lounge offers a selection of handcrafted cocktails, such as the espresso martini, along with a curated list of sakes, beer, and wine.
“As a resident of Huntington Beach myself, I’ve always wanted to open a restaurant in the community I call home,” Heinrich Stasiuk, CEO & founder of Wild Thyme Restaurant Group, said in a press release. “We designed Kai Lounge to be a transcendent experience that allows you to step from the beach into the bustling nightlife of Tokyo.”