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

Hi Takahiro, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
In 1991, I came to the United States with a dream… I’ve always had a dream of starting a business in the United States and with the support of my friends and family, I decided to go for it even with very little start-up money. The fact that I don’t have much memory of that time in my life is probably due to the stress, anxiety, and sleep deprivation that are a part of owning and running a small business

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Work/Life Balance = to help offset this stress, I go on walks with my wife and daughter 5 days a week; I’m amazed at the growth of my daughter who was only 9 years old when I started my business. When I have the time, I go surfing and golf ing to reset my mind and body. I’d say that my professional name and description would be: Takahiro Narui, Chef and owner of Taka’s Japanese Catering — that would be my wife’s response, I think. My personal feeling is that I am Taka, the surfing chef. Despite the name I’ve never actually tried to surf and cook at the same time.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
One of my favorite spots in Neptune’s Net in the city of Malibu My passion for surfing lead me to discover Neptune’s Net, a rustic restaurant located across the PCH from the State Line beach, a popular surfing spot. El Carmen, a cantina in Hollywood is another great spot. It’s a simple Mexican bar/restaurant with a wide variety of tequila. Need I say more?

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to give a shout-out to wife, Chiei, and daughter, Kalin — one might think that since I run my own business that I would be my own boss, but in reality, I have two bosses. Yukari G. for all of my graphic and photo needs Steve Jobs whose courage and drive from such a young age—starting a business out of his garage—was an inspiration for me as I started out as an entrepreneur. Chef Suzanne Goin: While working at her restaurant in Hollywood, I learned that California actually does have 4 seasons, which is represented through its seasonal ingredients; this awareness of natural Californian cuisine was learned by Chef Goin from her mentor, Chef Alice Waters

Website: TakaJapaneseCatering.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/takacatering
Twitter: twitter.com/cateringtaka
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TakaJapaneseCatering
Yelp: www.yelp.com/biz/takas-japanese-catering-culver-city
Youtube: An appearance by Taka can be found on The Noen Show on TikTok www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3J1R4eTrMA
Other: http://www.thumbtack.com/ca/culver-city/food-services/taka-s-japanese-catering

Image Credits
Personal Photo by Yukari G. Takahiro Narui

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.