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Kai Sushi & Sake Bar now open in North Raleigh

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This is a post by N&O restaurant critic Greg Cox:

Sung Chung, a veteran chef whose 20-year career began in California and has locally included Asuka and Hayashi, has opened Kai Sushi & Sake Bar (7713 Lead Mine Road; 919-870-4923) in Greystone Village.

Chung has given the former Stella Mare space a complete makeover, transforming it from timeworn pizzeria into upscale-casual Japanese restaurant with an understated decor in earth tones.

The sushi offering covers all the bases, including a list of nearly 30 specialty rolls.
Sprinkled in among familiar names like Rainbow, Spider and Volcano, a handful of signature rolls inspired by raw fish traditions of other cultures set Kai’s list apart from the crowd. The Hawaiian Poke Tuna Roll, for instance, and the Peruvian Pearl - which gets a note of authenticity from a South American aji amarillo chile sauce.

Kai’s kitchen menu serves up a few surprises, too, among them a section dedicated to char-grilled robatayaki fare. Other alternatives to the usual tempura, teriyaki and bento routine include tuna hotpot, Korean bibimbap, and broiled-eel-and-grilled pineapple kabayaki.

The bar lives up to the restaurant’s second namesake specialty with a selection of half a dozen or so sakes, including at least one premium unfiltered bottling.
Kai Sushi & Sake Bar serves lunch Monday-Friday, and is open for dinner nightly.

The restaurant doesn’t have a website yet, but you can find it on Facebook.

Send restaurant news to Greg at ggcox@bellsouth.net. Be sure to tune in to Greg's radio show at 11 a.m. Saturdays on WPTF.

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About the blogger

Andrea Weigl has been the food writer at The News & Observer since the summer of 2007. She has won a handful of awards from the Association of Food Journalists and the Society for Features Journalism. Her profile of chef Ashley Christensen titled "A Force of Nature" will be published in the sixth edition of "Cornbread Nation: The Best of Southern Food Writing." She is serving a three-year term on the James Beard Foundation book awards committee. Follow her on Twitter at @andreaweigl.
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