Today, I received a terribly sad email.
It is with deep regret that we inform you of the passing of Chef Nobi Kusuhara. Chef Nobi came to the United States in 1971, a few days after graduating high school with a dream to be a successful American businessman. At that time, he did not know the passion and love he would have for the sushi business. Nobi struggled, and his life’s journey was filled with peaks and valleys, but he always moved through life with a smile and obstinate optimism. When he said “I want to make you the best sushi”, he really meant it. To his dying day, he loved finding the best fish and serving it the best way possible. He was a few weeks from retirement and was planning to spend his time with his wife that he had been with for 49 years by moving back to Japan. Though he had countless offers over the years to sell his businesses to various large corporations, Nobi always believed it was more important to stay true to his craft and honor the creation of authentic sushi. In the end, he turned the path away from becoming a businessman and found his true passion in becoming a master craftsman in the art of sushi. Chef Nobi decided to pass down his restaurants to the chefs who studied under him. He said, “I want to pass down to my chefs, so the customers can keep eating the same sushi I made. I do not want to inconvenience my loyal customers.” To honor Chef Nobi, we hope you will continue to eat at any and all of the Sasabune locations located in the United States. There are 4 locations in California at West LA, Beverly Hills, Glendale, & Pacific Palisades, also in New York City, & Honolulu.
Though we will not be having a formal memorial service, there will be an informal viewing scheduled on August 11th, 2019 at 4pm. Please feel free to join the Sasabune Family.
August 11th, 2019
707 E. Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
I’ve been eating at Sasabune since the mid-90’s when the restaurant had just 2 chefs & was located on Sawtelle Blvd and filled with day traders with hot stock tips and “big market swing” stories. (Those of you who were there know what I’m talking about)
I have a few stories of my own but I’m going to save those for later once I collect myself.