Couple Behind Shimogamo’s Revival in Chandler Set to Open Second East Valley Location

Nikki BuchananDecember 15, 2023
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Everybody loves Shimogamo in Chandler — possibly more than ever thanks to sommelier Mika Otomo and her chef-husband Daisuke Itagaki who took over from Mika’s parents — founders Sanae and Yoshio Otomo — during the pandemic. The young couple updated the décor and elevated the menu, drawing an audience lured by the likes of truffle amberjack, A5 wagyu carpaccio, playful salmon cornets and udon carbonara.

In fact, the restaurant is doing so well that the couple is planning to open a second restaurant in Gilbert — this one called Shimogamo Grill & Sushi — in late February or early March of 2024.

Otomo tells me the menu is still in development, but we can expect robata-grilled seafood such as hotate (scallops), king crab, lobster and fish as well as meats such as pork belly, steaks and wagyu beef. In the spirit of the Japanese yakitori-ya — an informal restaurant specializing in skewered foods cooked over charcoal (yakitori means “grilled chicken”) — Shimogamo 2 will also feature skewered and grilled veggies, such as asparagus, tomato and zucchini, wrapped in bacon. A few of the original restaurant’s popular appetizers, both cold and hot, will be featured as well, but Otomo says the emphasis will be on the robata grills and the yakitori.

Why Gilbert? For starters, the couple lives there, but Otomo maintains that while Gilbert’s population is growing, there are few authentic Japanese or Asian restaurants in the area. She says they “nailed down a very promising, high-traffic corner (Williams Field and San Tan Village) during the pandemic and got amazing terms,” adding that their dream “is finally coming to realization.”

The address will be 2320 S. SanTan Village Parkway, #102.