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

Hi Yuta, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
In order to succeed, you must have belief and undeniable passion for the business you created, energy and positive thinking to lead. Then you are able to surround yourself with a great people and the team to a success. Keep challenging for better and to be the best.

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?
It was a family business. This business has been in a family for over 300 years and our original restaurant in Japan (which is over 300 years old) still exists. That is something to be proud of. I got to where I am by Japanese Family tradition of taking over the family business. However, I did not want to join the family business at first and started my Hospitality carrier in the hotel industry. But, got lured back in after 4 years. I can say that my experience has been both easy and extremely tough. Easy, because I did get treated differently (in a positive way) from within the company as well as from outside. On the other hand, it was extremely hard because of the pressure and tradition, as well as expectation. Also, not able to change or do things the way I really wanted because of the past success and history. Our brand’s fame is “CONSISTENCY” in high quality of food and service. I believe Chaya brand has changed and revolutionized the LA dining scene and its history. We brought Asian/Fusion Cuisine and then Healthy Plant base (Macrobiotic) cuisine into mainstream.
We are praised at Smithsonian Museum as a creator of world famous “Tuna Tartar”.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would start from East side in Pasadena. Start from Huntington Library, hang out and eat and dine in Old Town Pasadena, then watch a UCLA football game at the Rose Bowl. Then move towards downtown, but stopping by Griffith Park observatory, check out the Zoo, and watch a Jazz Concert at the Greek Theater. Have some pick nick at the park, play tennis or round of golf. Then go to downtown art district and eat at many of the great cafe and restaurants. Stop by MOCA, then check out the financial district, then go Olvera Street for some Latino food and culture. Then drive down to Korea Town and then Hollywood area for the typical Los Angeles Tour. Skip Beverly Hills, since I am not too big of a fan, but the West Hollywood provides great eating scenes and clubs for people to see. Then head to West for the beaches. Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice and Marina Del Rey. Spend couple of days at the Shutters on the beach and relax and have great time.
Finish off at Gjelina on Abbot Kinney for the great food.
You should be able to experience the diversity of the culture and the best of LA flavors and the scene.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My Family Father, Uncle, Aunt.

Website: www.mcafedechaya.com

Instagram: welovemcafe

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