All Press Releases for April 27, 2010

Keita Sato Shares His Recipe for Success with Cambridge Who's Who

The owner of one of NYC's oldest and finest Japanese restaurants discusses tradition, authenticity and family

    NEW YORK, NY, April 27, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/ --- "Anything worth doing is worth doing well" is an axiom adopted by many people, but the Satos have elevated this drive for excellence to the level of obsession. Their activity of choice? Making sushi. An NYC institution since the 1970s, the family's Zagat-rated Hatsuhana Sushi Restaurant has built an unassailable reputation as one of the city's finest Japanese restaurants almost entirely on the strength of a single dish. "We've always focused solely on sushi as a sushi specialty restaurant," explained Hatsuhana owner Keita Sato. "That helps us excel at that one specialty."

Sato inherited the restaurant from his father, a master sushi chef, in 2000. He has been a part of the business his whole life, having watched his father as a child and undergone rigorous culinary training as an apprentice. The most hands-on of owners, he still enjoys donning his apron every once in a while. "My customers get confused because [they're used to seeing] me at the captain's desk. A week [later], I'm actually serving them food at the sushi bar," he said, chuckling. Sato revels in the informal environment of Hatsuhana, which for its patrons has become a virtual escape to Japan right in the heart of Manhattan. "The atmosphere at Hatsuhana is exactly what the atmosphere in a sushi restaurant should be - it's very lively and energetic," he said, adding with a smile, "We want to be your New York alternative to going to Tokyo to eat sushi."

Entrusted with continuing his family's tradition in the sushi industry, Sato takes his role as keeper of the flame very seriously. An ardent purist, he enforces a "no gimmicks, no frills" approach to food and refuses to take his cues from outside influences. "I want to set my own trends and standards for what we should be doing, not what other people are doing," he said. "I want to do things that make magazines write about us, instead of doing what magazines tell us we should do." This uncompromising attitude has only benefited Hatsuhana, which has since earned favorable reviews from The New York Times, New York Magazine, Saveur and Gourmet - not to mention an enviable reputation for authenticity.

With business running smoothly, Sato has considered opening other types of restaurants but concedes that he is not willing to walk away from sushi just yet. His main focus remains to be on Hatsuhana and its legendary sushi cuisine - which can only be good news to its patrons and any fan of bona fide Japanese fare. "We set the standard for the sushi industry quite a long time ago and we're looking forward to a glorious future," he said.

Hatsuhana Sushi Restaurant currently has three locations, two in Midtown Manhattan and the other in Honolulu, Hawaii. For additional information, please visit

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Keita Sato helms Hatsuhana Sushi Restaurant, which "best bridges the gap between East and West," according to Eric Asimov, chief wine critic of the New York Times.