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I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently workin...  (More)

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Japanese-style cocktail bar opening in Los Altos

Uploaded: Jul 23, 2019
Jean-Luc Kayigire wants people to imbibe more in downtown Los Altos.

The Los Altos resident and former bar and restaurant owner said that because of the city's lack of bars, people’s options are to have drinks at local restaurants or go to neighboring cities.

This Saturday, July 27, Kayigire is officially opening his solution to that: Amandine Project, a Japanese-style cocktail bar at 235 1st St.

The revamped bar at Amandine Project in downtown Los Altos. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Kayigire, who has opened bars and restaurants in San Francisco and Japan, said he wasn’t planning on opening a new bar any time soon. He retired several years ago to focus on his young children and investing in rather than running restaurants.

Then his now landlord, who Kayigire said is "ready to change" downtown Los Altos, made him a good offer on the space where Honcho Bar closed in in February.

Amandine Project has been open periodically over the last two months for soft openings. The bar serves "high-end" cocktails inspired by Japanese drinking establishments, Kayigire said. He plans to rotate the menu regularly around a global theme, with each month featuring cocktails from a different continent. Amandine Project also serves beer and wine.

Once the kitchen is rebuilt, he plans to serve izakaya-like food. The bar's Instagram shows some teasers: an okonomiyaki-style corn dog, pork belly with polenta and Aomori fried potatoes with smoked ketchup.

Amandine Project (named after Kayigire's dog, a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix) will be open this Saturday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. The bar's initial hours will be Tuesday through Sunday evenings, with a plan to eventually stay open daily and until 2 a.m.
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 +   3 people like this
Posted by single malt, a resident of Woodside,
on Jul 23, 2019 at 12:05 pm

a true japanese-style bar offers lots of imported, high-end scotch.

straight-up or on the rocks.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Alcohol Dispensaries, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Jul 23, 2019 at 12:30 pm

There's not enough alcohol dispensaries in Los altos? Haha. OK, but how drunk do people need to be? I guess they need a dispensary for their fix every block.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Bar Guy, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Jul 23, 2019 at 3:15 pm

[Post removed.]

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by John Sack, a resident of another community,
on Jul 23, 2019 at 5:06 pm

There is a lot of vocabulary in this blog post that I don't understand. Am I just clueless? What is a Japanese style bar? what is Izakaya-style food. what is okonomiyaki-style corn dog?

If the bar doesn't care to draw me in, then I guess it wants people who have the secret decoder ring. I sure hope they do something to get me interested.

Are Japanese style bars quiet? do they have small nooks? The only ones I have seen are in movies!

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by awatkins, a resident of Woodside,
on Jul 25, 2019 at 9:17 pm

John Sack "

I'm with you on the terminology. But it's not the bar's fault, it's the article author who is being oblivious to her readers.

Really, Elena, what percentage of your readers do you think understood on first reading the Japanese concepts and terms you used? Are you writing just for the in crowd?

 +   4 people like this
Posted by Sushi Scott, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Aug 7, 2019 at 9:37 pm

An Izakaya is a type of Japanese bar that typically serves small plates.
Okonomiyaki is like a savory pancake that typically comes with a sweet thick sauce and mayonnaise
And a Japanese style bar is a bar that...well serves this kind of food I guess.

I dunno, seems reasonable that an article about a Japanese bar would come with some Japanese terminology. You can always google it!

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