Ex-Sushi Heights chef takes over Taki's

There's a new owner at Taki's: former Sushi Heights chef Keiho Omine.

Hisashi Takimoto, the former owner of the Japanese restaurant, located at 341 East Colfax Avenue, passed away of natural causes back in February after feeding hungry Capitol Hill customers for more than a decade. Takimoto didn't have any family or beneficiaries to leave the restaurant to, so the city took over.

Omine, who attended the same Buddhist temple as Takimoto, assumed onwership on September 23. Painfully shy, he politely referred all questions to his friend, Yuki, while he tended to the lunchtime crowds earlier today. "He'll keep the menu mostly the same, but he'll change it a bit," she said, referring to Taki's menu concept of affordable, healthy Japanese fare. The black chalkboard above the cash register features the same items that have been offered at Taki's for years, including the curry plate with sides of white rice, salad and pickled vegetables. Customers can also pick up on-the-go items like sushi, Hawaiian juice cans and edamame.

Yuki said a woman who was reportedly rude with customers and pushy with the tip jar, had been running Taki's during the time the city was managing it. She's no longer at the restaurant, though Yuki noted that the rest of the staff has remained.

And the service today was warm and welcoming. Even Keiho was out front taking orders. He won't answer questions, but he'll smile and nod at you.

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