Restaurant Nisei serves contemporary takes on Japanese American dishes, drawing from David’s heritage. Most Japanese restaurants in the US serve only sushi and ramen, however, Nisei hopes to change the public’s idea of what Japanese can be with boundary-pushing culinary technique. Nisei hopes to be the first restaurant in the USA to offer a tasting menu of avant-garde Japanese cuisine. Find other Asian owned restaurants.

Nisei began serving the public in 2019 as a pop-up restaurant, hosting events all over San Francisco.

David has always dreamt of owning and operating his own restaurant, and after 12 years of professional experience as a chef, he finally feels confident in his abilities to open Nisei.

A testament to the owner’s Japanese American heritage. washoku literally means “harmony of food” and is sometimes referred to as the “home cooking” of Japan. The philosophy of washoku focuses on a set of principles emphasizing balance of: color, taste preparations, sense, and finally, respect to food.

I grew up working in restaurants in Houston, TX until the age of 18 when I attended the Culinary Institute of America in NYC. I spent 7 years in NYC, 5 of which at restaurant WD~50, where I learned about molecular gastronomy. Afterwards he spent time abroad in Spain and Tokyo in restaurants Asador Etxebarri, Ryugin, and Ishikawa. 6 years ago I joined Californios in it’s first year of opening and helped the restaurant obtain 2 Michelin stars and 4 stars in the San Francisco Chronicle, all while obtaining my CMS Certified Sommelier Certification as well.

Drawing from my background as a Japanese American, I began offering pop-up dinners with a 10 course tasting menu under the name Nisei. Finally, after leaving Californios in January 2020, I ventured out to start his own restaurant. However due to COVID-19, this dream was postponed, so I successfully sold bento boxes and hosted private dinners throughout most of the year.

The driving passion behind my cuisine is the desire to show SF that Japanese food is not just sushi or ramen. There is so much more to Japanese food that can be expressed in so many different fun and interesting ways. Creating truly memorable dinners for people to share with their loved ones is the true goal of Nisei.

With hope for 2021, Nisei has now found a location in San Francisco and hopes to raise capital to help fund my goal of opening the restaurant I have always dreamed of.

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