The small Fremont storefront that used to be Dot’s — chef Miles James’ deli that didn’t survive its transformation into a bistro earlier this year — will house a new venture in 2015: a Japanese restaurant called Suga. The owner is Eriko Sugawara, who has owned the Benihana franchise downtown for 18 years. Suga, she says, is “going to be fun — it’s not a franchise, it’s all my own.”
It won’t have any chefs flipping shrimp onto their toques or showing off their knife skills, nor will it have any sushi. “I am Japanese,” Sugawara says, “but the reason I don’t go to Japanese restaurants is because they’re too Americanized” — an ironic stance for an owner of a branch of the giant, Americanized Benihana chain. But she says Suga will serve “Japanese family comfort food,” the real deal. She hopes to be open by the end of January.