By Evan Milberg
“We’re not going to be one of those places that hires some food star with their own TV show,” says Allen Smith, who along with Scott Mitchell, will open Kaizen Tavern later this month. The Japanese restaurant will replace the Italian-themed Osteria 1909 in Del Ray.
Smith says he’s always been a fan of Japanese food and has worked with it for 15 years, including his time as general manager at Sushi Ko in D.C. Mitchell, a Del Ray native, previously owned St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub also in Del Ray. On the side, Smith is a lacrosse and basketball coach for his kids. “When you think about it, coaching is a lot like managing a restaurant, or at least it should be,” says Smith.
Kaizen, meaning “improvement” or “change for the best” in Japanese, will offer sushi, sashimi, tempura, soups, salads and vegetarian options. / Kaizen Tavern, 1909 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria