There’s already a shuffle behind the large chef’s counter at Niku Steakhouse, the Omakase Restaurant Group’s new big-ticket restaurant in the Design District. Opening executive chef Steve Brown is out, heading back to San Diego, while Dustin Falcon, a former Lazy Bear sous chef and chef de partie at the French Laundry, is taking over.
Brown’s Japanese beef-driven menu at Niku Steakhouse, which opened in January along with casual sibling restaurant Udon Time, will remain in place, while Falcon’s influence will show itself over time. Niku’s next door butcher, the Butcher Shop by Niku Steakhouse, which also opened in January, will keep supplying the restaurant’s imperial and domestic wagyu. And dishes like Brown’s wagyu fat caramel sunday are sticking around, at least for the time being.
“We are thankful for the work Steve Brown has done throughout our opening and preparation of Niku Steakhouse,” says Omakase Restaurant Group co-owner Kash Feng. “With his family in San Diego, including his newborn son and newlywed wife, Steve has decided to put his family first and move back to Southern California.” Before Niku, chef Brown was best known for his wagyu-focused pop-up, CosechaSD.
“Our team fully supports his decision and wishes him only the best,” says Feng, “and we look forward to working with Dustin Falcon as executive chef at Niku Steakhouse.”