An early pioneer of the sushi conveyor belt concept in New York, James Hamamori worked at Asakuma in Los Angeles before teaming up with entrepreneur Bronnie Lee and opening the first of several Wasa Sushi outlets. Hamamori, located in the satellite wing of South Coast Plaza, followed in December 2007.
With its upscale interior and high-end menu of stunningly fresh fish, not to mention its posh mall setting, the restaurant practically screams "Orange County." But that doesn't mean you need an expense account to dine here: The generously portioned $9 two-course lunch is a steal.
Here, Hamamori confesses his love for Taco Bell (worrying!), and about making sushi for all the Food Network chefs. Ah, how nice... Unless he's planning on serving dodgy fugu, that is.
1. Dish that you cook that most represents you.
Uni (sea urchin): Spiny and thorny on the outside, but rich, creamy and sweet on the inside.
2. What was the last meal you had at home?
Ochazuke (rice and green tea in a bowl). It's quick and easy.
3. Your favorite restaurant (other than yours):
4. Fast food guilty pleasure:
Taco Bell (their new Fresco menu).
5. Complete this sentence: I would like to [verb] [Food Network Star] with [noun].
Make sushi for all the Food Network Stars.
6. Last meal of your life, what would it be?
Have sushi in the Ginza district (Tokyo).
7. Items you always have in your refrigerator:
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Beer and edamame.
8. Your most indispensable kitchen tool or appliance: