Seafood is what he's known for, but Abesan was just as proud to share photos of his trio of shih tzus when I inquired. They were so adorable, we almost asked for a photo to share. But we digress. As the dining room begins to fill, we go over our remaining questions below.
Read our first part with Abesan over here.
Then wrap up the interview below . . . .
Tell us about your time working at the Japanese Consulate.
It was tough getting used to the new environment, especially the cold weather in Alaska. The position was relatively straightforward, dealing with large parties of international dignitaries and VIPs. It was during this time that I first met my wife [Editor's Note: She was a restaurant waitress. They would drink at the bar after work.]
Last song playing on your radio:
My Way by Frank Sinatra.
Hardest lesson you've learned:
How to properly manage your staff. There is a fine line between running an efficient and profitable business while maintaining respect and loyalty amongst your employees.
Where did you grow up? What brought you to Orange County?
I grew up in Yamagata, Japan. I came to the US to further my culinary ambitions, and of course, for beautiful weather and surroundings.
Favorite childhood memory:
To pick on the food my mother was cooking without her noticing.
When you're not at the restaurant, what are you doing in your free time?
I enjoy playing golf and spending time with my wife and dogs.
Last thing you looked up online:
I'm constantly searching new and interesting recipes.
Last book read; how was it?
The book about Jiro, a very famous, Michelin 3-star chef who dedicated his life to the art of making sushi. It was very interesting and insightful.
Do you have any skills that are not food-related?
I'm a very good handyman. I can fix most household problems. In the restaurant, I've fixed chair seats, restroom fans and the vacuum cleaner.
What would you be doing if you weren't in this business?
I always had an interest in farming.