San Diego's Historic Sushi Ota Japanese Restaurant Under New Ownership

November 4, 2021

A longtime Sushi Ota head chef has taken over ownership of the historic San Diego Japanese restaurant.

After working at nearby Mr. Sushi for several years, Yukito Ota and Noriko Toyama founded Sushi Ota in a modest strip mall on the outskirts of San Diego's Pacific Beach in 1990. Over its three decade history, Sushi Ota has become known as one of San Diego's most highly-reviewed Japanese restaurants, with countless now-sushi restaurateurs of their own honing their craft behind the sushi bar at one time. Proteges of Master Ota have included Roger Nakamura of Bankers Hill's Hane Sushi, Robert Nakamura of Shino Sushi in Little Italy, Mitsu Aihara of Himitsu in Little Italy, and Chef Trace "TJ" Jerome of newcomer Matoi in Kearny Mesa.  

Public records show that tenured Sushi Ota Executive Chef Shigenari "Shige" Tanabe has taken ownership of the iconic restaurant. Chef Shige does not intend to make any changes to the renowned sushi house, rather he intends to respect its long history and continue building its reputation for quality seafood for many years to come. Sushi Ota's 65-year-old namesake founder Master Ota, who was born in Kumamoto Kyushu, Japan, before emigrating to the United States in 1982, will continue to assist in operations on a limited basis.  

Sushi Ota is located at 4529 Mission Bay Drive in San Diego's Pacific Beach. For more information, visit