Born in Japan, Sota's apprenticing started at an early age, when he moved to the US in 1989 and attended school in Irvine. Working throughout coastal Orange County he spent 6 1/2 years working as a sushi chef at Hapi Sushi in Laguna Beach where he met many local followers who welcomed him into their home to cook for parties big and small, Sota eventually started his own private chef company "Creative Sushi".
In 2003 Sota was hired at Ozumo in Newport Beach, where he worked as a sushi and Robata chef. He trained under winner of Iron Chef, Sho Kamio at their San Francisco location, and then worked under Chef Katsuo "Naga" Nagasawa, founder of Cafe Del Rey in Marina Del Rey. During his mentor-ship with Chef Naga he helped him open Suki 7 in Westlake Village as well as other ventures.
Following his time at Ozumo, Sota assumed the position of Head Chef at 930 Sushi in Newport Beach. While back in Newport Beach, he was able to spend more time creating his own dishes while in his private chef company, marrying local ingredients with traditional Japanese flavors. He brought some of these dishes to the restaurant, which quickly gained him local attention. Sota was featured in 2006 Orange Coast magazine, as well as a piece on KTLA.
After 930 Sushi, Sota was given the opportunity to work at Nobu in Los Angeles, where he further honed his skills, preparing for his own venture.
A year later Sota's dream came true to come back home to Newport Beach and open his own restaurant.
The guiding philosophy behind the dining experience at SOTA is to combine local and traditional Japanese ingredients with the freshest fish from around the globe, using Sota's innovative food combinations.