Gari Japanese Fusion’s design attempts to literally interpret the theatricality of the dining experience. The sushi chefs perform their art of preparation ‘on stage,’ beneath a bright white overarching canopy which recalls both a band shell and a flower petal. On the walls, a photo mural of a vivid orange calla lily serves as a backdrop. An electric blue and stainless steel restroom complements the orange colors of the dining room.
Gari is located near the end of an inauspicious retail strip in Coolidge Corner, an urban neighborhood adjacent to Boston. No changes to the façade were possible, but color-changing up-lights shining on reflective metal curtains at the window create intrigue and encourage passers-by to enter.
Boldly contemporary, dramatic and urban, Gari is nonetheless unabashedly romantic. Its intimate 32-seat interior, a scale perhaps more familiar in Tokyo than in Boston, is lit in the evening by a subtly glowing bar-front and seat-back. The sushi chef remains illuminated, which increases the feeling of watching theater from a darkened audience. Chef Gary Huang’s innovative and sophisticated cuisine arrives at the tables as a grand finale, its beautiful presentation the perfect accompaniment to the décor, and the results of the performance the diners have just witnessed.