Sushi Ko Update – Kitchen Nightmares – Open or Closed?

Is Sushi Ko still open?

Current Status: >> CLOSED <<
(keep reading to learn what happened)

Season: 3 | View All Season 3 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: May 14, 2010
Sushi Ko Address: 2200 E Thousand Oaks Blvd Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
Sushi Ko Update bar Rescue

Episode Recap

Sushi Ko was a Thousand Oaks, California restaurant featured on season three of Kitchen Nightmares.

We meet Chef Akira, his wife Lisa, and their grown-up children Hana and Sammy in this episode. Things are not going as well as they are supposed to be, either with the restaurant or the family, unfortunately.

Named after the popular Sushi Ko restaurant in Bel Air where Akira once worked, Akira’s Sushi Ko, in Thousand Oaks CA was once quite successful.

Eventually, crowds started thinning slowly and currently the tables are empty and the business is on the pathway of doom.

Chef Akira is understandably depressed about the state of affairs and his wife’s disapproval worsens it. The children are distressed too about the deteriorating business and family relations. The family and the business are steadily moving deep into debt.

After lending a listening ear to the troubles, Ramsay decides to sample the food. Akira recommends a sushi pizza. Ashleigh the server, cautions against it. But Ramsay goes ahead and orders it along with a bowl of miso, green tower and salmon sashimi.

He is disappointed to find the soup lukewarm, stale, and salty. The salmon sashimi frozen pizza is revolting and to top it all there is hair in the green tower.

Inside the kitchen, he finds the staff moving around without wearing hats to keep their hair in. He gives a piece of his mind to improve the service. Sammy and Hana admit to Ramsay about their dislike of the restaurant and the financial support they had offered to keep everything going.

Thanks to Ramsay, the restaurant is unusually crowded that day for dinner. Ramsay discovers that the sushi sticks are reused to cut down the expenses. And it’s just the starters. Even more grave matters follow one by one. The fryer is faulty and refrigerator is malfunctioning. Then he sees the mayonnaise kept outside that may pose a major health hazard.

The pile of mistakes mounts up when dairy, meat and eggs are found in the ice-box apart from vegetables. Lisa begins her verbal onslaught of Akira again. Ramsay advises her to quiet and points out that this is not the way to go about to boost Akira’s confidence. They all give a pep talk to Akira when he returns from his walk.

Ramsay initiates the free installation of a new freezer, refrigeration units, fryers and a hob burner. The décor gets the much-needed revamp with Sammy’s commendable effort. Even the menu gets some new appealing additions.

Akira is over the moon! He is all set to don the chef’s apron on the night of relaunch. Sadly, Lisa is quite unsupportive and unenthusiastic and is her usual nagging self. Minor glitches on the orders get corrected and customers seem to be happy with the food.

Sushi Ko opens on the big night of relaunch to the rhythm of taiko drums. Akira starts with remarkable enthusiasm, but soon loses focus. He however returns to his task of cooking following cautionary words from Ramsay.

Sushi Ko Update - What Happened Next?

The days that followed the relaunch feature a business that was on its way to sink deep down turning around to proudly stay afloat. The family basked in the glory of their rediscovered happiness and love.

But alas, the happiness is not meant to last long. The restaurant began to look deserted once again. Everything was forcing them to close the business. With a heavy heart and no options left, that family did just that. Sushi Ko closed in August, 2009.

The Nate ‘n Al Delicatessen that followed Sushi Ko did not survive for long, either. Reviews were bad and it closed soon after taking Sushi Ko’s place.

After that, a restaurant called Unami Burger also opened at the old Sushi Ko location. However, that didn’t last either! It seems like this is definitely a tough location for a restaurant.

As of 2021, the location is occupied by a restaurant called California Pizza Kitchen.

What is Akira from Sushi Ko doing now?

After closing Sushi Ko, it seems that Akira is no longer in the restaurant business. According to his work history, he’s now working as a Purchaser/Exporter at M & D Co, LTD. Still, having a 25+ year history as a successful restaurant owner ain’t bad!

We hope Akira is enjoying his new job and everything is going well.

What happened to Hana from the Sushi Ko Kitchen Nightmares episode?

A lot of people are wondering what happened to Hana after Sushi Ko closed. Hana is Akira’s daughter and part of the family. She seems to still be doing some acting, though not that often.

For example, she was in a 2019 film called The Circuit: Star Crew. She was also on a TV show called The 7th Rule. If you want to learn more, you can check out Hana Hatae’s IMDB page.

More Information

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Last updated: 2021-11-22 08:02

20 thoughts on “Sushi Ko Update – Kitchen Nightmares – Open or Closed?”

  1. The Old saying Location, Location, Location means the most, rent is a killer and the leeches that own these buildings are the killer of independent businesses. This is why all most every major chain owns its own building and property. The slum type lords should be ashamed for what they do. When you are paying 30 percent or more of your profit to rent it becomes appalling. The slum lords dont give three s*its about the guy trying to make a living. They only look at how much they are going to make without ever having to put in, or work for it. In the little town I live in the slum lords have so many empty buildings. They charge such high rent and then expect the business to do all the repairs on the same buildings. Lastly its sad, very said that we have come this far, yet we have gone no where.

  2. I actually just watched the episode for the first time tonite – twice. It was so emotional and inspiring ( I cried along with them all through the episode -both of the times I watched it on the same night). They clutched my heartstrings so much that (for the first time ever after watching a reality show) I went and googled Hana and was heartborken to find they ended up closing after everything. What a shame! I even had to leave a comment which I never do

  3. I too was hoping that would get out of the muck they were in. Credit card debt is the utmost worst! What Trump or some president should implement is a 1 year Sanctuary Plan that owners like Akira could initiate. So businesses that can get the help of Gordan Ramsay, or consultants, or new management, etc. can have some leeway. All credit withdrawals rolled back and recalculated to 1% interest accrued, landlords to not interfere by rent increases or intimidation for 1 year. And any leased, rented, or owing on equipment is not to be repossess or non-serviced for 1 year. Hopefully giving small business a better chance to pay back debt and re calibrate themselves. And if after a year, debt is still owing, rent needs to be paid, equipment not paid for – back to the lions they be.

  4. My heart go out to the family. I feel every pain they go through, particularly to his beautiful daughter and son. Not much to say about the wife, the mom. I’m sure she’s stressed, depressed and frustrated but as her EXACT word, “he doesn’t what to do.” Please love and understand him as a human, a man, a father. I hope you guys find new life destination and happiness. Please know that YOU did all you possibly can. May you be blessed with merit and better brighter opportunities. Sending love and prayers your way🙏💪

  5. These restaurants wait to late to reach out for help. Gordon Ramsey does a lot BUT he’s not a miracle worker. At least Sushi Ko is NOT like a LOT of the restaurants he’s attempted to help. Many put ALL THE BLAME on Gordon.

  6. The “leeches that own the land/buildings”, are business people. They don’t owe you low rent, and no one forces you to rent. The greedy people are the ones that think someone owes them something. I feel horrible for the family, but in the end he was a bad business person.

  7. @Dana These blood sucking parasite leeches disguised as landlords, hike the rent a lot for a business when they start making a lot of money. These business also don’t owe these leeches “extra money”. These leeches should ask whatever is the market standard around and not on the basis of how much money their tenants are making.

  8. I hope they sold those top of the line commercial kitchen appliances Chef Ramsay (FOX TV Network?) bought for them, and did not let the building owner confiscate them..big bucks

  9. “they don’t owe you low rent” at what point do we question the ethics of this so-called business. I can almost certainly guarantee you that the owner of said building/land did not earn it by being “good business person” or by “hard work”. Yes, landowners are indeed, for the most part, leeches.

  10. Well they al least did something right: their children are wonderful, respectful and also hard workers. I can only admire that and hope my children will be like that when they grow up. Business is just business, stuff happens and in the end it isn’t nearly as important as ones family. Hope they are doing well

  11. To those who call landlords leeches, you obviously don’t have a clue as to how the commercial landlord/tenant business works. Leases are negotiated and agreed upon by both parties before renting the space. Landlords want their tenants to succeed and will often help to make that happen. Most restaurant tenants pay about 7% of their income to rent. That is the norm. Landlords are not leeches. Do you realize how much i have given to my tenants during COVID-19? I personally forgave my restaurant tenant $200,000; allowing him 3 years of minimal rent and future rent reductions. I am trying to keep my tenants in business as I try to keep my own head above water. Your comments about landlords are offensive and not true.

  12. Christine, it is nice to see you are one of very few that help the small business through a very difficult period, I watched the show and felt for the family and hoped it would work. bought tears to my eyes to see what had happened

    • Christine is more the rule than the exception. We landlords have nothing to lose and everything to gain by helping our tenants. It’s unfortunate that you have encountered unscrupulous landlords, but it’s not the norm.

      I do see news reports now and then about slumlords, but the fact that it is news indicates that it is not the norm. News reports the things going on the are not routine.


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