Japanese cuisine that can truly satisfy your expectations
Japanese cuisine that can trul...

Japanese cuisine that can trul...

Japanese cuisine that can trul...

By Keiko Fukuda

The name of the store is well known. Many say that you can taste authentic Japanese food when you visit “Osawa” in Pasadena”. They offer a wide variety of menu items from sushi, shabu-shabu type items, to inexpensive items such as curry rice, and sukiyaki bowls at lunch time.

“I would like the customers to feel like they are in their own kitchen. A regular customer who feels that way, and wants to come as often as every day once asked me to purchase a table just for him. No one else can sit at the table even when he is not present? I cannot allow that.

I felt honored, but had to politely decline the request”, said the owner/chef, Shigefumi Tachibe. I heard that there are over 100 people who try, but not able to get in on weekends.

Chef Tachibe with a 40-year-long career is known as an executive chef who led the West Hollywood “Chaya Brasserie” to becoming a super popular restaurant after working for the Chaya Group for 30 years. Right after the Chaya Brasserie closed in July of 2015, Chef Tachibe transferred his main focus to “Osawa” completely. “Osawa” then had been managed by his wife, Sayuri, who is also the part owner, since its opening in 2013, and now the husband and the wife together are devoting themselves passionately to managing Osawa’s operation.

I have actually interviewed Chef Tachibe in the past while he was working for Chaya. He then told me how important the food ingredients were. He was going to farmer’s markets to select the vegetables with his own eyes. Now he moved from French to Japanese cuisine, but still maintains the same principle for the importance of ingredients.

“I select fish I buy myself, too. I go to the South Pasadena farmer’s market on Thursdays, and to the La Canada one on Saturdays. It is needless to say that we use fresh, organic, and safe ingredients for our customers. I change the “Daily Special” menu depending on what I bought for the day. So, every day is a new challenge for me,” says Chef Osawa.

His basic idea for creating the menu is just simply something he wants to eat himself. His idea is not only simple, but also flexible. “You can eat anything you feel is right. If you are treating your customers, you may want to order sushi, or shabu-shabu. If you come by just for a bite, you may want to order Oyako Donburi, or a bowl of Udon. There are no rules or styles you need to follow.” He stresses on the following belief: restaurants are supposed to offer safe ingredients, delicious foods, and of course, good hospitable service. He declares that Osawa’s chefs should be able to provide the closest possible dishes to whatever you request.

Next, I asked Sayuri about the customers in Pasadena. She said, “American and other non-Japanese Asian customers as well seek authentic Japanese food. They give us a comments like they feel as if they are in Japan in our restaurant. Also many Japanese customers visit Japan even more often than us, and thankfully, they also like our food.”

Lastly, I asked the Chef about his perspective for the next few years. He said, “I will carry on the same style for a while”. The main store remains the same, but they are planning to open the second store, which will be a casual delicatessen between the end of this year and the beginning of 2017. It is wonderful news for the Osawa fans.











77 N. Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91103

Everyday open