Sanae Otomo, Owner / Executive Chef
Sanae, a.k.a "Mama-san" by regulars and staff, is a long-standing backbone of the restaurant and is a strong advocate for true Japanese home-style flavors and hand-crafted meals. She has been a housewife for most of her life; however, she was professionally trained to learn Japanese intricate cooking techniques to marry into the family that runs Kyoto's one of the most traditional "Ryo-tei" restaurant. She is also a master all all traditional Japanese hospitality practices such as Urasenke tea ceremony, flower arrangement, and kimono seamstress. When her husband retired in Arizona in 2000's, she and her husband were not able to find a Japanese restaurant in town that pleased them, so opened their own! After 10 years, she still creates new dishes, sauces and keeps her eyes out for maintaining the standard, while catering to the local's palate and offering unique fine Japanese experience. Her current passion is in creating a recipe for perfect ice cream and often it's on the restaurant's special menu!