Akiko’s Restaurant To Take 2,700 SQFT at Avery Lane in San Francisco

Related California, Akiko’s Restaurant, Avery Lane, The Avery, San Francisco, AvroKO
Courtesy of AvroKO

Celebrated Japanese Establishment’s New Flagship Location Designed by AvroKO Anchors Avery Lane and Adds to the Exceptional Suite of Amenities for Residents of The Avery 

SAN FRANCISCO (August 11, 2021) – Related California, the West Coast affiliate of the nation’s largest privately-owned real estate firm, Related Companies, is pleased to announce the opening of Akiko’s Restaruant within Avery Lane – the outdoor pocket park located at the base of the luxury residential high-rise, The Avery, in the heart of San Francisco’s East Cut neighborhood in early 2022.  Helmed by Chef-Owner Ray Lee, the 2,700 sq. ft. space designed by AvroKO will become the flagship location and represent a significant expansion of Akiko’s current location in Downtown San Francisco, which has been serving the Bay Area community for more than 30 years.  Akiko’s will unveil exclusive offerings for residents of The Avery as well. 

“Related California is proud to help bring to life a new iteration of the esteemed Akiko’s Restaurant,” said Jonathan Shum, Senior Vice President at Related California. “This flagship, led by Chef-Owner Lee and designed by AvroKO, represents Related’s significant commitment and investment in delivering an exceptional lifestyle experience to residents of The Avery.  We are confident that the restaurant’s unique dining concept and elevated omokase experience, as well as its service-oriented offerings, will complement The Avery’s ethos, and bring a revitilization to the neighborhood for residents, locals, and visitors alike.” 

Delivering a lively, dynamic atmosphere to the East Cut, Akiko’s will anchor Avery Lane’s thoughtfully curated collection of premium retailers as the exclusive restaurant partner and invite guests to dine and imbibe in the bespoke 46-seat dining room. The restaurant’s neighbors will include the newly-opened Bluestone Lane, the beloved Australian-inspired café, and TruFusion, a local, female-owned and operated fitness and yoga boutique, both slated to open this spring, bringing all-day offerings to the neighborhood.  As an extension of the luxury building’s 30,000 sq. ft. of amenities offered, The Avery’s condominium residents will have access to exclusive Akiko’s experiences and programming, such as private tastings and secret menu offerings. 

The new Akiko’s Restaurant will be centered around an exquisite 24-seat Chef’s Stage, where the team will amaze guests by showcasing their highly skilled craft in an engaging performance, while voyeuristic sightlines around the room create a see-and-be-seen event. Fragmented vignettes, suspended elements, unexpected color, and controlled sightlines will work seamlessly together to create a sense of theater for the audience members on all sides of the open-concept counter. Akiko’s will feature dramatic design by AvroKO, an exciting spirits program, and an extensive menu of classic yet distinctly modern Japanese fare, bringing an elevated and evolved take on the traditional Omakase experience. 

“We are humbled and excited to concept the new Akiko’s Restaurant from scratch, so that it sets the stage for an unforgettable dining experience in a comfortable, welcoming environment,” said Ray Lee.“We look forward to pursuing innovative concepts, sharing bespoke, curated ingredients paired with modern preparations, and connecting more personally with guests from the sushi counter and beyond. The new Akiko’s will continue to be fun, energetic, service-oriented, and special. We can’t wait to open early next year.” 

The ever-evolving menu will reflect Ray Lee’s inventive culinary aging methods and spotlight boundary-pushing sushi and seafood dishes, including a dynamic nama menu of nigiri and sashimi, along with seasonal composed dishes from the kitchen. Akiko’s will continue using the finest quality of fresh fish from local purveyors as well as Tokyo’s famed Toyosu Fish Market. Maintaining a deep sensitivity to environmental demands without compromising on quality, Akiko’s will present ecologically minded offerings, favoring sustainable and organic products whenever possible. 

For the first time, Akiko’s will introduce a comprehensive bar program, featuring beautiful, technique-driven cocktails, as well as a selection of international wines, classic and craft Japanese beers, and an assortment of reserve sake.  

When designing Akiko’s, AvroKO drew inspiration from the 1970 Osaka Exhibition – a creative movement that embodied the era of futurism and expressive design – as well as the spirit of geometric architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, to create an authentic Japanese aesthetic with modern details. Unique design attributes include a beautiful use of angular geometry, tilted and layered wood, colorful abstract artwork and graphics with 70s flair, purposeful use of bold primary color gradients, and strategic lighting placement. A curated selection of Ray Lee’s personal ceramic and vinyl collection circulating throughout the restaurant will serve as a visual dedication to his craft while infusing comfort and a touch of residential hospitality. 

“Rather than approaching Akiko’s as a traditional restaurant project, we pursued design inspiration from eccentric, historical Japanese sources to facilitate a guest environment brimming with warmth and energy, and from Black Box Theater designs,” commented Andrew Lieberman, Design Director at AvroKO. “Dining at the new Akiko’s will be an elevated, interactive experience that will undoubtedly pioneer the next evolution of Omakase in San Francisco.”

Ray Lee took over the original Akiko’s from his parents more than a decade ago, bridging the gap between Western and traditional taste palates, setting the tone for the first Omakase restaurant in San Francisco.  The restaurant has since become a favorite destination among San Franciscans, out of towners, and celebrities who appreciate contemporary dining and the finest quality sushi and seafood.  As construction and preparations begin for the new location, the existing intimate space will transform into a more casual Japanese concept, with more details to be released in the coming months. Akiko’s will be located at Avery Lane at 430 Folsom Street in San Francisco.


Related California, the West Coast affiliate of Related Companies, is a fully integrated real estate firm that develops multifamily residential and mixed-use properties in California. Related California has a long history of community partnership, having collaborated with more than 35 municipalities and over 25 non-profit organizations throughout California.

Related California is currently developing more than $2 billion of assets in San Francisco, including The Avery, Mason on Mariposa and Fifteen Fifty. Combined, this includes nearly 1,500 residential units, 75,000+ square feet of retail and a 460,000-square-foot office building, which will be owned by the City and County of San Francisco. Related California is also embarking on the development in Santa Clara, a nine-million-square-foot master plan that will include office, retail, hotel and residential across from the 49ers new stadium. Additionally, Related California recently delivered Argyle House, an 18-story luxury apartment tower, in Hollywood adjacent to the landmark Capital Records building and is also developing The Grand, a 1.5-million-square-feet open air mixed-use complex designed by Frank Gehry in downtown Los Angeles. 

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