Rumors have been swirling around the man behind LA’s most expensive sushi restaurant, chef Hiroyuki Urasawa, ever since the phone line to his eponymous restaurant was seemingly disconnected at the end of last year. A shutter of the $400-a-head omakase spot wouldn’t have been all that surprising, as the two Michelin-starred chef couldn’t seem to keep himself out of legal trouble, first being ordered to pay nearly $70,000 in penalties and unpaid wages back in 2013, then being hit by a lawsuit by former sous chef Tom Nonaka that alleged some pretty alarming behavior.
The Hollywood Reporter dove in to find the latest update on the situation, as the lawsuits haven’t stopped for the sushi master. At the end of last year, prep cook Emil Yi sued the chef, claiming Urasawa not only verbally abused him but also assaulted him with chopsticks. Nonaka followed with yet another shocking suit, contending that the sushi master threatened to kill him if he didn’t hand over $14,623.50 to finance the initial labor-related lawsuit.
The legal battles didn’t stop at the restaurant, as Urasawa was also sued by his downstairs neighbor at his residence at the 1100 Wilshire Blvd complex. Apparently on two separate occasions, an intoxicated Urasawa passed out in his running bathtub, causing some pretty serious water damage. Now that’s some hot water.
With all these court filings, it would be reasonable to imagine that his Two Rodeo Drive restaurant would shutter. Even amidst the rumors of its demise, however, it seems the restaurant only closed for a short period of time, and is very much back in business, according to the writer who personally visited the restaurant at the end of February.
Only time will tell if LA’s legendary sushi mecca will survive the legal storm that very much has not yet come to an end. At least for now, Urasawa is still slicing impeccable slabs of flesh, but only time will tell for how long.