The contemporary Japanese-style restaurant opened its doors to Pacific Avenue’s Stone Creek Village in October 2014, and has since been a local gem. The region’s latest hot spot, still in its infancy and new to the Stockton foodie scene, is already turning heads with its fresh twist on traditional Japanese food, innovative dishes and impressive presentations that will make you want to snap a picture before digging in. Your eyes will be just as hungry as your stomach when you see what Kyodai Sushi is serving up!
The dining experience at Kyodai is reminiscent of an upscale restaurant with prices that cater to just about any price range. Red, white and black décor line the inside dining area as guests are greeted with a refreshingly chic, and inviting atmosphere with a smiling staff. Enjoy natural lighting as windows illuminate the space filled with tables, booths and a sushi bar that gives visitors the opportunity to get to know the chefs while watching their food be made – an entertaining addition to any meal! The restaurant also offers dining on the outside patio, TVs and artwork by local artist Robert Kelly.
Kyodai is the brainchild of Stockton native Kevin Pham and co-owner Andy Dang. Dang, who holds a B.A. in Biochemistry from San Francisco State, and Pham, with a B.A. in Business Administration, are both active in their business, working as chefs, and trying to give back to their community. “We are lucky, and so blessed. I want to give back,” says Pham, who aims to help improve the city’s image through his business, encouraging others to do the same.
“This is home to me and I want to be a part of the community. The city is changing and I want to be a part of that.” Pham says that other business have been entirely supportive and will continue to work together to improve Stockton through its dining scene, and business community.
The restaurant gets its name from the Japanese word for “brothers.” Though they are not related, the staff considers themselves just as close. Pham and Dang were inspired to open the restaurant because of their shared passion for food. Pham fell in love with food and business at a very young age, and before long, knew he wanted to open his own restaurant. Before graduating from Sacramento State with a degree in Business, Pham grew up working in his parents businesses in Stockton and the surrounding cities. Here, he says, is where he adopted his appetite for being a business owner and interacting with customers. At Kyodai, it isn’t just about serving contemporary sushi, it’s all about the experience. Getting to know his customers is one of Pham’s favorite aspects of his restaurant simply because it allows him to be creative.He loves to craft dishes just for them – in fact, Pham welcomes his customers to request something if they don’t see it on the menu.
This summer, Kyodai will introduce Omakase, or “I’ll leave it to you” in Japanese. This ‘chef’s choice’ welcomes customers to come in, sit down at the sushi bar, order drinks and give the chef a chance to get creative – whether it’s an appetizer, light portion, or meal, Kyodai chefs will prepare it for you. Pham and his staff pride themselves on their exclusive menu, which revolves around local seasonal favorites. “We have all this great produce in our backyard,” adds Pham, “even Japan imports rice from Northern California!” He highlights how lucky Stocktonians, and the rest of the Central Valley are to live where our food is grown, providing the area and its restaurants with the freshest offerings possible. “We serve the freshest products that come in daily.” Speaking of seasonal and local, the restaurant creates wine pairings with Lodi (and surrounding regions) wines, a cherry on top of an already exclusive menu that celebrates San Joaquin. And if that isn’t fresh enough, 90 percent of the restaurant’s creations, such as sauces, are made in house. “We try to stay innovative. Our main thing is keeping everything local. We are a farm to fork type of restaurant. We like to eat, we love playing with food and coming up with new ideas.”