A 16-seat Japanese restaurant and sushi bar, Toichi Ichiban, will open at 5 Kendall St. in Brookline, half a mile from the Brookline Hills MBTA stop, according to the minutes from a Board of Selectman hearing in June. The restaurant was approved to operate between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily. The owners did not apply for a liquor license. In addition to the official vote by the board, the new restaurant also received neighborhood support from the Greater Point Neighborhood Association.
Co-owner ChangRu Ma has owned several restaurants in China, including a sushi restaurant in Taishan called DongYi YiFan, which one TripAdvisor user favorably reviews, describing it as "a small restaurant that is very popular with the locals." In a letter to Brookline's Board of Selectman, a friend of Ma vouches for him and echoes the popularity of DongYi, noting that Ma knows it will be difficult to open a restaurant in the United States but wants to do it anyway, believing that "food service will connect him with his customers without language barrier."
ChangRu and HuiQun Ma plan to serve tempura and noodle dishes in addition to sushi, "with an emphasis on fresh and healthy options," their attorney told the board.