Kitchen Nightmares Wiki
Kitchen Nightmares.png "The team works overnight to remodel the restaurant."
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Lisa-Owner/Akira's wife

Sammy-Akira and Lisa's son/Waiter

Hana-Akira and Lisa's daughter/Waitress




Before Gordon's Arrival

Akira and his wife Lisa moved to Southern California from the Bay Area. Akira was a star sushi chef, having learned in his native Japan. He started out as a chef at Sushi-Ko, got promoted to manager, and eventually bought it. He and Lisa bought a new location. Akira no longer wants to do much of anything, and he's shut down on his wife and kids.

First Impressions

Gordon arrives on a motorcycle and is greeted by Akira and Lisa. Lisa jokes in front of Gordon that she dances in the window to attract customers, which only embarrasses Akira. Gordon says he'd like to taste the food, and Akira suggests sushi pizza, which Gordon finds bizarre. Lisa blasts the food.

First Meal

Food Ordered

Sushi pizza, Miso soup, green tower, sashimi

Impressions of the Food

Miso soup-Gordon says it is neither fresh or hot, and is salty

Green tower-Gordon finds a hair

Sashimi-Gordon asks if the salmon is fresh, but can tell it's frozen

Sushi pizza-Gordon spits it out and declares it rancid, and an insult to both pizza and Japanese food

First Dinner Service

Gordon gathers the kitchen staff to tell of his criticisms. They admit the miso soup had been made the day before. Gordon not only blasts the quality of the sushi pizza, but the sheer concept of it. One of the chefs says he would like to have fresh fish, but says it never happens. Gordon decides he's getting nowhere with Akira. He talks to Sammy and Hana. Sammy thinks he's given up and Hana says he doesn't listen. Sammy admits he's even put his own money into it from his photography. The dinner service begins. Gordon notices the chopsticks are recycled and some are even dirty. Akira sees no problem. The customers are not happy with the food. The fryer doesn't work properly. The mayonnaise isn't refrigerated. One refrigerator doesn't work and Akira doesn't have the money to fix it, but keeps vegetables and eggs in there anyway. Gordon sits Akira and Lisa down. Gordon tells Akira he doesn't think he's taking it seriously enough. Akira can't bring himself to say anything and Gordon and sometimes Lisa berate him. Lisa gets increasingly meaner, and Gordon shuts her down, demanding that Akira say something. Even with that however, Akira still has nothing to say.


Gordon says it's clear that Akira is a broken man.

Remainder of the Visit

Gordon goes to their house. Everyone but Akira is home. He asks Lisa what Akira used to be like. She said he was cute, but now never smiles. Both kids agree, and say he's withdrawn. Gordon challenges them to uplift him. Akira arrives home. Sammy tells Akira that he taught him hard work. Hana tells him that she loves him and wishes she told him that more. Lisa says she needs to be more supportive. Akira feels shame for putting himself and his family in this situation. Gordon decides to help too, by replacing some of the faulty kitchen equipment. Akira is excited as Gordon shows it all to him. Gordon decides that now is the time to put Akira back in the kitchen. Akira happily dons a chef jacket to lead the kitchen. Gordon and Akira develop a new salmon dish. Akira is happy, but Lisa questions if he's taking it seriously. He makes one mistake and Lisa is a bit harsh on him. At the end of the service, Akira is still happy. Gordon praises him that he's a different man, and that he looks happy. However, he tells Lisa that she also needs to change. He tells her she can't be so cold to him, and so hard on him. She admits to it. Gordon warns her that she needs to cut him some slack, "before it's too late."

Restaurant & Menu Remodel

Gordon's design team redesigns the restaurant. The walls are painted a different color, and displays some of Sammy's photography as well. Gordon introduces some new dishes, also. Gordon organizes a performance by traditional Japanese drummers. It ends with Akira banging a gong.

Final Service

With Akira leading the kitchen again, everything starts well. However, Akira starts to get distracted and starts to spend some time in the dining room and doing menial tasks and the kitchen falls off. Gordon pulls him aside and tells him, "You're not a manager, you're not a busboy, you're a chef". Akira refocuses and everything gets back on track. Gordon implores him before he leaves, that his true talent is as a chef, nowhere else. He tells the family they need to work together. Gordon says goodbye, and says they need each other to succeed.

After Gordon's Departure

Akira and Lisa were said to be looking for another location with a lower rent. Instead, Sushi-Ko closes in 2010 and Akira left the restaurant business behind, now working as an importer.

Production Notes





  Kitchen Nightmares US - Restaurants
Season 1 Peter'sDillon'sThe Mixing BowlSeascapeThe Olde Stone MillSebastian'sFinn McCool'sLela'sCampaniaThe Secret Garden
Season 2 HandlebarGiuseppi'sTrobiano'sBlack PearlJ Willy'sHannah & Mason'sJack's WaterfrontSabatiello'sFiesta SunriseSante La BreaCafe 36
Season 3 Hot Potato CafeFlamangosBazziniMojitoLido di ManhattanLe BistroCasa RomaMama Rita'sAnna Vincenzo'sFlemingSushi-Ko
Season 4 Spanish PavilionClassic AmericanPJ's SteakhouseGrasshopper AlsoDavideDown CityTavoliniKingston CafeLa FriteCapriZeke'sOceana
Season 5 Blackberry'sLeone'sMike & Nellie'sLuigi's D'ItaliaBurger KitchenThe Greek at the HarborMichon'sEl GrecoPark's EdgeSpin-A-Yarn SteakhouseCharlie'sCafe HonChiarella'sZocalo
Season 6 La Galleria 33Mama Maria'sMs. Jean's Southern CuisineBarefoot Bob'sOlde Hitching Post Restaurant & TavernLevanti's Italian RestaurantSam's Mediterranean Kabob RoomNino's Italian RestaurantMill Street BistroYanni'sProhibition GrilleChappy'sAmy's Baking Company
Season 7 Pantaleone'sOld NeighborhoodKati AlloMangia MangiaZayna Flaming GrillBella Luna
Misc Revisited