Sometimes it's hard to see an old friend change.
But when that old friend happens to be a classic hotel that just underwent a $31 million renovation complete with a new bar, well... here's to lasting friendships.
Welcome to the new Hotel Kabuki, which is now born anew in Japantown and all but unrecognizable other than its classic façade. You should probably see for yourself.
In the lobby, you'll immediately notice a vintage backlit factory window wall and a mural map on the ceiling. From there, you'll be led to your room for the weekend, appointed with shibori (indigo died) cloths, custom art and a killer view of the city.
Drop those bags, though. Drop them good. Because once the bar opens on Thursday, you and that date you brought will settle in underneath a trellis of Douglas Fir beams and order a round of cocktails created by bar star Stephanie Ann Wheeler of Boston's Hojoko and Chicago's Three Dots and a Dash fame.
Cocktails like the Hello Amanojaku with Suntory Toki, Giffard vanilla, a house Chai tea blend, cashew milk and macadamia almond orgeat. It's served in a teapot, by the way. Just saying.
Perhaps some fire-charred shishito peppers with avocado cream will happen from there. And once the Japanese tea garden opens soon, you'll definitely want to get in on the Japanese tea service. Don't worry, they'll have fire pits out there.
$31 million well spent.