“Kuchisabishii” is a uniquely Japanese word that literally means “When you’re not hungry, but you eat because your mouth is lonely.” At Lonely Mouth the food is a lively take on Japanese favourites serving house-made udon noodles, fresh tempura, and handrolls. The restaurant’s in-house noodle maker can be seen working in the bar, bringing the noodles to the forefront of the guest experience.
Inspired by Japanese minimalism, the interior takes a ‘less is more’ approach. The cozy dining room features rich textures such as raked plaster, brown velvet corduroy upholstery, and warm wood tones. A wood dowel screen provides transparent separation between the bar and dining spaces, creating intimate pockets for guests within the restaurant. Art by Calgarians Harry Kiyooka and Rhys Douglas Farrell are featured on the wood paneled walls accompanied by ‘noodle mimicking’ fibre art offering a fun textural element to space.
The lighting approach is similarly restrained. Three spherical paper lanterns are featured in the centre of the dining room and a dim glow of warm light illuminates the perimeter. Light levels are dimmed and offer a soft, even glow to diners with flickering candles setting the mood.
Salvaged materials were repurposed during the renovation. The dining chairs are vintage, brought back to life with fresh, green upholstery; eclectic bar shelves have been reinvented to feature the extensive curated sake collection.