Just minutes after we broke the news about the sale of Mori Sushi, "we were getting so many phone calls," says owner Morihiro Onodera, surprised, "everyone thought I was leaving." Well, then why did he sell his namesake sushi restaurant, known as one of the best in the city, after 11 years of excellence? "I want to do something new," Onodera admits, "I have been a sushi chef since I was 18. Now I am 46." Yet, when Eater stopped by for a bite recently, Mori was behind the counter, knife in hand. He confesses that selling his restaurant was part of a plan to try out a new food business idea or two. While he wasn't ready to share details on his future plans, he did say that he will remain at Mori Sushi for the time being, manning his place at the sushi bar two to three days a week. "I get a pay check now, it works out well," he says, smiling.
The new owner, sushi chef Masanori Nagano "Maru" (his wife, Miyuki Hayashi, shares ownership), has been Onodera's right hand man since Mori Sushi's opening on May 8, 2000. He knows Mori's standards of quality and consistency as well as Mori himself. Onodera says the situation worked out perfectly. "I wanted to take some time off, I've been doing this a long time," and he's grateful that Nagano was ready to take over while keeping the business running exactly as it has been for the last decade. Farmers market produce, pristine filets of fish, and humble service remain, and seek to thrive, for perhaps another decade.
·Morihiro Onodera Sells Mori Sushi in West LA [~ELA~]
— Daniela Galarza