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Meet Our Neighbors: Takashi

Given our ideal downtown location in Exchange Place, we've pretty much got our pick of amazing restaurants, coffee stops, and to-go joints. It's a luxury we don't take for granted, and we feel it's our duty to make sure anyone reading this blog knows it all as well as we do. Today's feature probably needs no introduction at all, but we're just so excited to find ourselves within a block of Takashi, that we're unlikely to stop talking about it anytime soon.

It's difficult to "sum up" the flavorful and flawless menu that Takashi serves, but we think the folks at Copy That said it best in their recently released What's Good Salt Lake City (a 336-page guide to nearly everything that makes our city and state so great): "This is the quality/caliber of sushi that's rivaled only in big, ocean-adjacent cities around the world, due in large part to the freshest of fish." Absolutely true, and our city is lucky to have them. Says that very same guide,

"Regardless of where your expectations lie for good sushi in Salt Lake City, Takashi is highly likely to soar well past them."

We had a brief chat with Tamara Gibo, Takashi's wife and business partner about the space itself and what she loves about the best menu in town.

HW: Market Street just off Main is an incredible downtown location. Tell us how you landed here.

Tamara: Takashi and I looked at several dozen locations over the years, but nothing was ever exactly right. In fact, we even turned down this location at one point! What happened? It just became “the right place at the right time,” which I believe is the coming together of two great variables that opened the door to infinite possibilities.

What’s your favorite thing about the menu? And how did Takashi's life in Peru influence or help to shape it?

I love that our menu is full of surprises. While catering to aficionados of Japanese food, we offer playful twists that reflect flavors we've discovered in our travels and life experiences. The menu is familiar yet unexpected, so we find it exciting. Peru is a place where immigrants from Spain, Italy, Africa, China, and Japan have settled and adapted their unique cultures to the foods available in their new homeland, so of course, that spirit is ingrained into Takashi's palate and palette.

Hw: We’ve wondered for years…what influenced your design aesthetic in the space?

Tamara: The design came together somewhat serendipitously as well. We were aiming for a vibe that felt authentic, but not in a specifically Japanese way. We wanted our guests to feel enlivened and inspired, as if they could be at an amazing restaurant anywhere in the world, not definable as a Japanese restaurant in Salt Lake City. The entire remodel was accomplished as a design-build project, which was miraculously completed in exactly two months, including menu development, acquisition of fixtures and furnishings, liquor license acquisition, and constructing our infamous metal fish.


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