Top Chef alum Katsuji Tanabe opens a fun, urban chic restaurant that features Mexican cuisine with Asian influences in Clarendon
Chef Katsuji Tanabe, a Top Chef Season 12 alum, is pleased to announce the September 1st opening of Le Kon, which will be located at 3227 Washington Blvd, Arlington VA, 22201, the former Park Lane Taven space.
The restaurant takes its name from “Kon,” which is Japanese pronunciation of the English word for corn using the katakana alphabet, and “Le” is just the equivalent word in French meaning “the”. In Spanish it would be “El Maiz,” but Chef Tanabe decided on that hybrid restaurant name, as he doesn’t want Spanish words restraining him from trying new methods in the traditional style of Latin cooking.
Le Kon will seat 200 guests with approximately 25 seats at the bar; 8 in the bar/lounge area and about 180 in the dining room which includes a 15-seat communal table. At Le Kon, guests can expect approachable Latin/Asian cuisine by chef de cuisine Patrick Tanyag’s open kitchen at brunch, lunch and dinner. Small plates and entrees will be offered. Menu highlights include entrees such as Pig Head Carnitas; Chicken al Pastor; Tempura Red Snapper and a variety of steaks including a 32 oz. Tomahawk cut. Small plates include Ceviche; Tostadas; Chips and five salsas and prawns and a bar menu featuring Adobe fried rice, chipotle salsa; and raw oysters with Mezcal Mignonette. Brunch dishes include Chilaquiles and a Poblano Benedict—poached eggs with pork and Poblano Hollandaise. Prices will range from $10-$12 for small plates; $20-$30 for entrees and $30-$50 for steaks.
“I’m excited to work with Chef Tanabe in creating his vision of Le Kon’s menu.” Chef Tanyag says. The traditional Mexican dishes combined with heavy Asian influences allow for a great deal of creativity with flavors and ingredients. I think we have some wonderful dishes at Le Kon.”
The bar menu will include a variety of conceptual cocktails that follow the restaurant’s theme such as the Santa Fe Sling: Wheeler’s Santa Fe Gin: Cascabel honey liqueur, cherry and pineapple; Dragon Fruit Margarita: Espalon Tequila: Triple Sec, dragon fruit juice, prickly pear juice, dash of kaffir juice; Tico Yakuza (The Peaceful Assassin): Imperial Lager: Sake, Mizu Yuko hot sauce; and a Sake bomb with Mex beer and a citrus hot drop for the truly brave, served on chopsticks over beer.
The restaurant is designed by Core Architecture whose work includes Centrolina, Barmini, Oyamel and Nobu, among other projects. Le Kon has a colorful modern urban vibe with funky design elements like Latin-inspired pop art, coffered ceiling, exposed bulbs, bright purple to scarlet ombre corn husk wall hangings festooning the top of the walls by banquets and a concrete bar with metallic copper ceiling. The hand mosaicked tabletops are white marble tile. Whimsical ’Day of the Dead’ wallpaper was custom made for Le Kon.
Born and raised in the heart of Mexico, the son of a Japanese father and a Mexican mother, Le Kon’s executive chef Katsuji Tanabe has worked inside LA’s most acclaimed kitchens. Tanabe’s MexiKosher Restaurant is the first authentic Kosher Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles and arguably the first of its kind in the entire United States. He recently expanded Mexikosher to the Upper West Side of New York City and partnered with a restaurant group to create Barrio in Chicago.
Chef De Cuisine Patrick Tanyag is a Virginia local and classically trained chef with a focus on Asian Fusion cuisine. Patrick has worked in a variety of kitchens throughout his career–country clubs, corporate kitchens and small projects with Mom and Pop eateries. Familiar with many different cuisines and cultures, Patrick hopes to infuse his knowledge to complement Katsuji Tanabe’s exotic menu.
Sous Chef Anthony Hong is also a local Virginia native who’s built his experience throughout his tenure at the MGM National Harbor working in banquets and filling roles in Jose Andres and Marcus Samuelson’s kitchens as needed. Anthony is a well-rounded and hardworking chef with dreams of one day owning his own restaurant.
Le Kon is located at 3227 Washington Blvd, Arlington VA, 22201. The restaurant will be open from Monday thru Friday 11am-4pm for lunch and 4pm-10pm for dinner. Brunch is served Saturday & Sunday from 10 am to 3pm and dinner is served from 3pm-10pm. A limited menu and cocktails are available daily from 10pm-2am. For further information or reservations call 703-243-5500 or log into www.lekonrestaurant.com.