Jun 11, 2024 - Food and Drink

James Beard Award for best new restaurant eludes Kisser

A salad from Kisser

The chopped salad from Kisser. Photo: Courtesy of Alison Carmona Rau

Kisser, the small Japanese comfort food cafe located in East Nashville, did not win the James Beard Award on Monday for best new restaurant.

  • Kisser was the first Nashville restaurant to ever be nominated for the prestigious award, given to just one eatery.

Yes, but: To even be nominated alongside the most critically acclaimed restaurants in the U.S. was a tremendous honor for the restaurant founded by the husband-wife team of Brian Lea and Leina Horii.

Flashback: Kisser attracted national acclaim in the last year. Before serving its first customer, Kisser was touted as one of the most anticipated new restaurants by Bon Appétit.


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