“I ate sushi for six months straight when I worked there,” Lew said. “My uncle and the other sushi chefs made their own special rolls that they created based on things they learned from their travels to Japan and customer requests. Our menu development process was to ask for input and then just keep adding and tweaking until we thought it tasted good.”
After many requests from customers, Lew’s father decided to open a fusion concept where customers could order both Japanese and Chinese dishes under one roof. When her parents decided to pursue another opportunity, Lew took over the restaurant in November 2021. Soledad—a small town of about 25,000 people—is an ideal location for a first-time restaurateur to get her feet wet, particularly in today’s off-premises dining heavy atmosphere.
“Because my restaurant is very small, dine-in is limited,” Lew says. “We can’t accommodate company dinners or large gatherings. It’s mainly to-go orders, and we offer walk-in, call-in, and online ordering. We have a very small staff, so we rely on delivery apps.”
Like her restaurateur relatives, Lew’s menu development strategy is a group effort. As a millennial with many foodie friends, Lew and her cohort enjoy eating out and are always on the lookout for the latest food trends. She also gets ideas from her friends’ multicultural backgrounds.
“Every culture has its perks in terms of food, and America is a big melting pot,” Lew says. “Having a fusion restaurant means that I can be creative and provide the best of both worlds.”