2021 Los Angeles Rising Star Chef Daniel Son of Katsu Sando

2021 Los Angeles Rising Star Chef Daniel Son of Katsu Sando

Katsu Sando
736 N. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012
eatkatsusando.com

Recipe

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Daniel Son started in the kitchen at 14, washing dishes under his sushi chef father. A Los Angeles native, Son attended the CIA to expand his knowledge beyond sushi and staged at Spago Beverly Hills under Wolfgang Puck and Thomas Boyce. Son’s wanderlust then took him to Japan as an apprentice at the three-Michelin-starred Nihonryori RyuGin by Chef Seiji Yamamoto. Son got hired full-time after three months and stayed for a year. One night, Noma’s Thomas Paulsen came into the restaurant and ended up offering him a stage in Copenhagen, where Son enjoyed foraging and working the snack station during service. 

From Noma, Son apprenticed at San Francisco’s Umami Sushi and bonded with Chef Akira Yoshizumi over their love for dry-aging fish. But when Son’s family restaurant, Kura, was going through a tough time in 2014, Yoshizumi encouraged him to return and use what he’d learned. Son’s father agreed to give him full creative control, and Son slowly built the restaurant back up into an omakase destination. 

Inspired by the sandwiches he used to order after 19-hour days at Nihonryori RyuGin, he opened Katsu Sando in 2017 as a pop-up out of Kura and expanded to Smorgasburg the next year. The idea was a high-low concept featuring quality ingredients and techniques in the form of Japanese sandwiches. In late 2019, Kura’s building was being demolished and redeveloped, which shut down the restaurant. Son still grieves the loss, but Katsu Sando lives on with a new Chinatown location. Although Son is certain Kura will reopen in one form or another, his family rallies around Son's new dream.