Today we’d like to introduce you to Sierra Madre’s Sierra Fusion.
So let’s start at the beginning – how’d you get into the restaurant business?
Christina And Jo (chef/owners) of Sierra Fusion) met at San Gabriel Country Club. Christina is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu and did her internship under Executive Chef Edward Ungrue (owner). The internship turned into a job offer. Jo attended business school at Cal State University San Marcos and worked in the banking industry but always had a love for food and found his way into the kitchen. Jo trained under the sushi chef at San Gabriel Country Club and then went on to obtain further knowledge and skills at the Sushi Institute of America in Little Tokyo (Los Angeles). The school was ran by Katsuya Uechi of KATSUYA restaurants and Mutual Trading. Christina and Jo would continue to fine tune their craft eventually moving to Las Vegas, Christina working for La Cave wine and tapas bar at the Wynn, and Jo at Yellowtail at the Bellagio. There are two parent companies to Sierra Fusion, California Crazy Chefs Catering and Slammin’ Sliders Food trucks, Ran by Edward Ungrue and Thomas Miller. The food at Sierra Fusion comes from the heart and our heritage, Christina’s parents are from Zacatecas, Mexico. Jo’s mom is from the Philippines, and his dad from New Jersey. You can see in our menu where our lives/history/training/experiences translates into our food. While dining at Sierra Fusion there is a very good chance you will encounter someone from our “family,” whether they are dining at the restaurant or working in the restaurant, we are a close knit crew and everyone is family.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced over the years?
Ask anyone who has opened a restaurant from the ground up and you will generally get the same answer. It definitely was not easy to get Sierra Fusion up and running. Some of the biggest challenges really is finding the right people to join the Sierra Fusion team to make this operation run smoothly on a daily basis. We expect a lot from our employees, they have all come a long way. In both the kitchen and the front of the house, no one person is responsible for just one job. Everyone helps out where they are needed and no one bats an eye when asked to go above and beyond their regular duties. Finding these people was not an easy task we put the employees through difficult training and testing, but now we feel we have a group/team put together that is ready to serve the masses. We all spend so much time together, we look at each other not as co-workers but as family and friends. Different instances call for different methods of coaching and training, sometimes we teach on the spot and other times we hold training on down time or when the restaurant is closed. Obviously every restaurant deals with learning the city, its patrons, and their pallets but it all begins with your crew and how prepared they are to handle any given situation that they are met with.
What stands out about Sierra Fusion?
What makes Sierra Fusion unique is that we are fusion in a multitude of ways, not just our food. our employees come from all walks of life, all different shapes, sizes colors, from different areas of not only the country but the world. Sierra Fusion is special in that sense but when it comes to food our menus is especially unique in that when our chefs have an idea they run it past each other to gain insight on something that they may have missed. In having two totally different pallets the chefs talk about tastes and plating and they eventually come to the final piece of work thus each dish is beautifully plated and balanced. Our menu at Sierra Fusion is not only a fusion of flavors but also of cultures and techniques. Chef Christina being trained with classic french technique and Chef Jo being trained traditional Japanese they come together along with the rest of the culinary team and put together an amazing menu that changes seasonally. Just about everything on the menu is made in house from sauces, to dough for the empanadas, and even our desserts. You can find Foie Gras on the menu not only on the hot side, but also on the sushi side. The hot side during lunch service makes killer salads and “build you own bento” boxes that leaves our guests with some difficult decisions. Fish, produce, and meats come in daily, the chefs order smaller quantities, according to business demand. This is done so that we are sure that every item in every dish is fresh with out a doubt. We pride ourselves on freshness and consistency. Our decor is simple. Paintings adorn our walls that have a japanese feel, all done by a local artist, specifically for us. Simplicity is key not only in our food but also in our vibe. We play mostly reggae music, being that Chef Jo made the playlist and was born in Maui, the Chefs love the islands and that laid back feeling that you feel when you are there, the music creates that mood. The restaurant may seem upscale but at any given time you will see the chefs walking/serving in the dining room. We encourage that our guests bring their children, dogs, this is a family establishment, we want it to feel that way.
Most Popular Items
Ume Glazed muscovy duck with edamame rissoto
Tuna and Foie
(inside) tuna, cucumber, takuwan, gobo
(top) tuna, Foie Gras, kizami wasabi, ume.
Gourmet cheese, currant jam, strawberries, apricots, candied walnuts, and honey
Parking Advice: We have our own parking lot just to the right of the restaurant and plenty of street parking as well.
Happy Hour: We have happy hour Tuesday-Friday from 5pm-7pm. We have asahi drafts and starters for $4.
Average Cost: Our average entree cost is $22.00
Address: 120 W. Sierra Madre Blvd
Social Media links
- Facebook: Sierra Fusion
- Instagram: @sierrafusion
- Yelp: Sierra Fusion