– Owner’s Greeting –
Tastier, More exciting, and More comfortable!
It is the greatest pleasure for us to see you smile while you are dining and to have you feel that the time you have spent at Sasala Group is a satisfying experience.
The history of Sasala dates back to Hinode-ya, a small dining place established in 1885. We have inherited a tradition of over 130 years of discipline and confidence since then; we are now aiming to create restaurants with a commitment to optimum quality, which can provide you with delicious dishes of selected ingredients, a good stock of sake, beautiful tableware, Japanese space-designing, cozy room-lighting, and BGM. We’re sure you will enjoy a prosperous time at our places using your “five senses.”
We have been actively introducing new food materials and original ways of cooking based on the principles of traditional Japanese cuisine so that you will be thrilled with our modern Japanese dishes. We are also seeking such Japanese dishes honestly as a break away from old styles but preserving good elements of conventional foods.
“More tasty, More exciting, and More comfortable” is our mantra to make your visit to Sasala a pleasurable experience. It gives us the most pleasure to see our customers smiling while
To go a step further, every staff member of Sasala Group works hard every day.
We are looking forward to welcoming you to Sasala.
– Owner’s Profile –
Masao, KURIBARA CEO of the Sasala Dining inc.
He was born in Hasuda city, Saitama prefecture, Japan.
After he graduated from the Culinary Institute in Osaka, he worked for the prestigious Japanese restaurant called Kicchou(吉兆) in Ginza, Tokyo. When he was 27, he was given the head chef position at the Japanese embassy in Holland. During his tenure there, he served many visiting dignitaries with the then Prime Minister, Ryutaro Hashimoto, and former President of the States Bill Clinton, partaking in his Japanese culinary creations.
After returning to Japan, he began work for the Imperial Hotel. Later, he took charge of a notable luxury establishment, working as manager of its Japanese restaurant. He was a founding member of starting that restaurant’s first move abroad, to Saipan.
From this overseas working experience, he could understand Japan’s appeal objectively and found that Japanese cuisine was recognized as a world-class culture. He started to think of his position as a chef who could spread Japan’s appeal to the world through food. Therefore, he put efforts to keep his restaurant in Japan on track to start with the eventual goal of opening a branch in the United States, pursuing that dream for his ten years running the Sasala Group.
The first restaurant, Sasala, and the second restaurant, Sora, were awarded the first prize in the competition held by the California wine Institute in 2008 and 2012. They have received an award from the American Embassy as well. In addition, the third ramen shop was chosen as the best Ramen shop in Saitama prefecture by one of the famous buzz marketing sites in 2014, and there is always a long queue in front of the shop. And last year, the newly opened 4th restaurant called TORAYA, a traditional Japanese BBQ-themed izakaya, was off to a strong start.
In thinking of an overseas expansion, he considered target countries by visiting many capital cities from Asia to North America but finally launching his 5th restaurant in North America. After two trips to the on-site inspections, it was decided California State, Northern California in San Francisco was the ideal site. The local subsidiary SASALA DINING USA Inc. was founded in October 2015.
Among his personal qualifications, Masao is a minister-certified chef of Japanese cuisine with multiple certifications in numerous gourmet dishes. He holds the qualifications to teach the preparation of Japanese food in a professional setting as well. He is a member of the Japan Sommelier Association and an FBO-certified Japanese rice wine (both sake & shochu) specialist. In addition to his position as manager of head chef of the Sasala restaurants, he has been invited as a guest lecturer for events. He sits as the chairman of NeoLotus, a collective of local fine dining establishments in his hometown area. His level of expertise and experience in both the kitchen and management places him among the top chefs in the greater Tokyo area.
- Tokyo Kitcho Ltd. (workplace: Hotel Western Ginza and Imperial Hotel)
- Embassy of Japan in the Netherlands, Chief cook for ambassador’s residence
- Imperial Hotel Ltd. (workplace: The Hotel Grand Arc Hanzo-mon)
- Manager chef of Japanese cuisine Hatsu in Mita, Minato Ward, Tokyo
- Opening manager of UBU SAIPAN, Garapan, on Saipan, the United States
- CEO of Sasala Group
- President of Neo-Lotus, a grouping of restaurant owners in Hasuda
Qualifications and licenses
- Licensed Cook based on Licensed Cooks Act
- Food Hygiene Manager based on Food Sanitation Act
- Certificate for teaching at culinary vocational schools
- Certificate of Sommelier administered by Japan Sommelier Association
- Sake Instructor certified by Food & Beverage Specialists Organization (FBO)
- Kikizake-shi [Sake Sommelier] certified by Sake Service Institute (SSI)
- Shyochyu Kikizake-shi is certified by Sake Service Institute (SSI)
- Food and Beverage Navigator certified by Food & Beverage Specialists Organization (FBO)
- Comrade of Cheese certified by Cheese-Professional Association (CPA)
- Licensed Cook of Fugu [globefish/blowfish] by the Governor of Tokyo Metropolis and those of Kanagawa, Saitama, Osaka, and other Prefectures