We had the good fortune of connecting with Lamson Nguyen and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lamson, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I believe taking risks and failing is all part of the process that leads to success. Loses are lessons that give you the experience and knowledge to propel you forward. I learned early on that one of the biggest risks is not spending your life doing the things you want based on the bet you can buy the freedom to do it later. My will to succeed was far greater than my fear of failing because I did not want to live with the regret of what things could have been without even attempting to try.

A goal of mine is to be in a financially stable position that allows me to pay things forward to my loved ones and my community. I recognized if I wanted to make it big, playing it safe was not a viable option. Risk taking is inherent in entrepreneurship and I was crazy enough to take on the toughest challenge: Hospitality Statistics show that 90% of restaurants fail. It’s not all about pouring drinks and shaking hands. The expectations are never-ending and at times you feel like you are working against all odds. You will have financial burden, the job is physically/mentally taxing and on top of that you have to be really good at working for free all the time. In this business, you really have to be on top of your A-game and grind it out daily.

Taking on risk has been worthwhile for me so far. I developed a deep sense of pride and accomplishment with bettering people’s days alongside the amazing team I’ve built. Risk allowed me to be creative and engaged in pursuing success and has led me to so many unforeseen opportunities. It taught me some of life’s toughest lessons and also shaped me internally in a way that would never have otherwise working a regular job. I am thankful that I gave my dreams a chance.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The secret sauce that sets us apart from anyone else is our team. We have so many personalities and come from all different walks of life but the culture remains the same. We’re all professional, outgoing, weird and goofy. We genuinely care for each other, the guest experience and the business. Our restaurant is located in the heart Downtown Santa Ana. Our unique and vibrant approach to serving is memorable which leaves our guests delighted and thrilled for another experience. We joke, we laugh and we play pranks on each other. It’s like joining a dinner party at your friend’s house. Late hours, full bar and great atmosphere – what more can you ask for? We treat everyone who comes into our restaurant as our guest, not only a customer – the community that we build for them is our true recipe for success.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh man, there’s so much to do in Downtown Santa Ana! If it’s the first Saturday of every month, we’re definitely attending the Art Walk. There’s live music, exhibits, dancing in the street, vendors, and art galleries all within a couple blocks of another. We also have so many diverse restaurants and bars in DTSA that you can spend a week dining out. The night always starts out with one or two “Bear F**kers” cocktails at Lola Gaspar . From there, we swing over Vacation Bar for a destination themed crafty drink. When it’s time to turn things, up we cross the street and go over to Proof Bar or Copper Door for some dancing. In a drunken stupor, we end the night soaking up the alcohol at Taqueria Tapatia. It has the best Mexican food ever and I will fight you on that! Next morning, we recover by brunching hard over at Chapter One for their endless mimosas and live entertainment.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout goes out to my team. I want to thank everyone for their hard work and just know it’s greatly appreciated. Most importantly, I want to give a big kudos to my sister who has been supporting since day one. She is the brains behind the branding and making us look cool !

Website: www.kaizenshabu.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaizenshabu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kaizenshabu
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/kaizen-shabu-santa-ana?osq=kaizen+shabu

Image Credits
@dianesaurus @hungryoc @occomestibles @foodwithseoul @maieatingobsession