Family owned restaurant group to replace soon to close Aji Japanese Bistro

It was just a few weeks back that Aji Japanese Restaurant announced it was closing its doors in El Dorado Hills after 11 eleven years in business. Now, one of the region’s well known Japanese restaurant groups is planning to fill what was soon to be a vacant spot in El Dorado Hills Town Center.  Mikuni Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar is set to replace the longtime eatery.

According to records with the Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC), Mikuni Restaurant Group Incorporated has applied for licensing at Suite 111 of 4361 Town Center Boulevard, the current home to the soon to shutter Aji Japanese Bistro, which plans to officially close May 31


According to the ABC, Mikuni applied for the licensing last Wednesday, May 22. They have applied for both an on sale general eating place as well as a catering status. The application is a request for transfer of the license currently held by Simple Hospitality Partners LLC and Russell Okubo, owner of Aji.  The original license was scheduled to expire in November of this year. 

Okubo cited his decision to close the doors after more than a decade of serving the El Dorado Hills community as being financially driven with rising costs in the current economy. During its tenure, Aji has been known for its  “Tokyo-style “foods as well as ramen and a variety of sushi dishes. 


“We have tried so hard to make it work but with the rising costs we have been left with the sad decision to close. We are so grateful for our amazing community for all the support we have received throughout the years,” reads a statement the restaurant shared with its customers on social media earlier this month, as detailed in a previous Folsom Times business news story. “We will be open regular hours until then. Please come in and order your favorite craft cocktails and food. “

Mikuni Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar was founded in 1987 in Fair Oaks, which is still home to one of its locations in the region today and where the famed “Fair Oaks Roll,” was born, a menu item that Mikuni’s Chief Dreaming Officer, as he calls himself, Taro Arai often cites as one of the family’s early keys to success.


“We are thrilled about the prospect of expanding our presence into El Dorado Hills,” said Arai. “This endeavor represents a significant milestone for us as we continue our mission of delivering exceptional Japanese cuisine and unparalleled dining experiences to communities across Northern California.”


The family owned and operated restaurant group has continued to grow through recent years under the management of the Arai family, its original founders. As of today Mikuni operated nine different locations, including Folsom, Fair Oaks,Arden, Midtown, Elk Grove, The Fountains in Roseville, another location off Eureka Road in Roseville, Davis, Concord and its most recently opening location known as The Oaks near the Pavillions off Fair Oaks Boulevard in Sacramento. 

Officials from El Dorado Hills Town Center are excited to hear the news of Mikuni coming to the property as well on Tuesday.


“We are thrilled to welcome Mikuni into Town Center as a restaurant business partner,” said Kevin Nagle, owner of the El Dorado Hills Town Center. “Their successful history of serving exceptional Japanese cuisine will benefit the community greatly.”

At this time no plans or details have been announced on the official opening of Mikuni once Aji officially closes its doors.