OUR TEAM

We think our employees are the most important asset of our business.  We treat our entire employee as our family.  Our employee turnover is very low.  Longest worker is “Taka” who is the head of the chefs and food management, actually began his association with Masayuki Nick Niikura since 1975 at Niikura’s restaurant in Japan, now he is the co-owner of the “Kushiyu”.

General Manager here since the major expansion is “Shawn” who is the head of the beverage and service management, in the addition to the Kushiyu’s administrative needs, now also is the co-owner of “Kushiyu”. Many of our customers have their own sushi chef, so chef can prepare the food the way customer like without telling us every time. Please check out below to see our team member’s bio.


Masayuki Nick NiikuraMasayuki Nick Niikura - Founder, team

Designation: Founder, Executive chef

Born: Yokosuka / Japan

Interest: Cooking, Golf, Fishing, Cruise trip

1966: Start to practice and train at sushi restaurant in Tokyo

1968: Start to work at “Sushi Kappou” restaurant in Tokyo to learn more sophisticated Japanese cuisine.

1969: Acquired “Professional cook license” in Japan

1970: Open his first restaurant in Tokyo

1977: Sold his restaurant in Tokyo and moved to Los Angeles to open Japanese restaurant in the USA
-Start working in some of the Japanese restaurant to learn how to run the business in the USA

1979: Open “Niikura” which was specializing in “Sushi” in Tarzana California

1987: Open “Kushiyu” which was specializing in “Kushiyaki” in Tarzana California

1988: Combine “Niikura” and “Kushiyu” into one restaurant as grand début of “Kushiyu”

2002: Expand Kushiyu into double the size

2008: Produced and open “Sushi Yuzu” in Toluca Lake, California

2014: Produced and open “Kabosu” in Toluca Lake, California


Takashi NiikuraTakashi Niikura - Co-owner, team

Designation: Co-owner, Head chef, CEO

Born: Yokosuka / Japan

Interest: Golf

1975: Started working as chef

1987: Joined Kushiyu

Recommendation: Tai Cilantro, Kani Shiitake Age, Negitoro Sushi

Message to our customer: I will make delicious food with my heart any time for you.


Shawn KoizumiShawn Koizumi - Co-owner, team

Designation: Co-owner, General Manager, CFO

Born: Tokyo / Japan

Interest: Rugby, Ski, Watch any professional sport (Especially: Football, Basketball, Baseball)

1990: Worked in the several restaurants as server in Tokyo

1991: Came to United States to study English and Hotel/Restaurant Management with ambition to be an owner someday

1995: Attend classes at Ecole Hoteliere Lausanne in Switzerland to learn European style of service industry.

Acquire “Professional food handler certificate” in the United States

1996: Graduated UNLV with Hotel/Restaurant Administration degree

1997: Became manager at the Hotel San Remo (Now Hooters Hotel) in Las Vegas

2000: Move to Los Angeles

2001: Worked as Manager at Yamato Restaurant

2003: Start working as Manager at Kushiyu

2009: Became co-owner of Kushiyu


Helio KamogawaHelio Kamogawa - Assistant head chef, team

Designation: Assistant head chef

Born: Rio de Janeiro / Brazil

Interest: Golf, Fishing

1987: Started working as chef

1997: Joined Kushiyu

Recommendation: Salmon Tower, Oyster Curry-Yaki

Message to our customer: Trust me!!!


Katsunori HisanagaKatsunori Hisanaga - Assistant head chef, team

Designation: Assistant head chef

Born: Tokyo / Japan

Interest: Wine, Golf, Music

1996: Started working as chef

1999: Joined Kushiyu

Recommendation: Blue Fin Tuna and Toro

Message to our customer: I will give you a smile with my food and conversation


Shigeya JinnoShigeya Jinno - Chief sushi chef, team

Designation: Chief Sushi chef

Born: Tokyo / Japan

Interest: Sake, Swimming

1999: Started working as chef

2002: Joined Kushiyu

Recommendation: Sushi: Hirame, Kanpachi, Jumbo Clam, Sea Urchin

Message to our customer: Please be easy on me