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Exploring Life & Business with Yuki Johnson of Sukiyuki LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Yuki Johnson.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
My cooking journey started in Osaka, Japan where I am from. I became a sushi chef in 2008. I love challenging myself and eventually came to live in Los Angeles where there is much diverse art and culture.

I continued working as a sushi chef at a hotel where I interacted with many people from around the world and also at n/Naka from 2015. My experience at n/Naka has been incredible as I got to experience the growth of a small restaurant to world level with the release of Chef’s Table show on Netflix then receiving two Michelin Stars.

My working dynamic shifted with the COVID-19 Pandemic where my son was forced to be homeschooled. Sukiyuki was born during quarantine time, where I longed for my father’s comforting Kansai Style Sukiyaki Beef Bowl. I made my friends this dish as a to-go bento, combining Wagyu and Italian Truffles, which not only are delicious but also craving for a special feeling food has to offer in such unprecedented times. The response from my friends and colleagues including chefs Niki and Carole of n/Naka was so great I decided to share it with whoever was interested in Instagram.

I have been making Sukiyuki Bentos ever since. This path has allowed me to connect with so many local people who love and support my creation while still being able to support my son in his growth.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Describing this path has not been a smooth road at all, as being a mom and a small business owner during the pandemic has been a very new experience. Every day is a challenge with its own set of lessons.

Although challenging, I am rewarded with being able to stay flexible with my sons’ schedule as he launches himself with school work and baseball. I am so grateful to my customers for being kind and supportive throughout this journey.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Sukiyuki LA?
Sukiyuki LA Beef bowl is very unique because of the special sauce that is blended to highlight the tender and juicy Wagyu, and directly imported Italian truffles that give an incredible taste and aroma. I use Farmer’s market eggs and produce to support local businesses and highlight the bounty we have here in Southern California.

Customers are able to access premium ingredients, prepared with care at a reasonable price during these unprecedented times.

I hope people will take a moment to appreciate small pleasures to relax and connect with each other when they eat Sukiyuki.

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
I have a blowfish (Fugu) license from Japan. Blowfish are poisonous by nature, and not every sushi chef has a license. I learned to professionally remove the poisonous areas of the fish and to serve to customers safely.

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Instagram: sukiyukila

Image Credits:

@eatswithsylvia @sylvia.wakana @hangrydiary @rdeshea

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