Our Executive Chef

Executive Chef "Taisho" Akio Ishito grew up in a home located next to a Japanese high-class cuisine. A Japanese high-class cuisine is a different world where they prepare the best ingredients with expert cooking skills. As chef Ishito grew up watching those highly talented chefs, without realizing it, cooking became something familiar to him. As a student he came to the United States to study. As he graduated he went back to work in Japan, but he decided that working for a company is not his style and came back to the states. When he was still a student, he dreamed of living in the United States. To make his dream come true, he thought of ways to make a living in the states and immediately came up with the idea of becoming a chef. When starting his career as a chef, his part-time experience in dish washing during his school year helped out. During the first twelve years in the United States, he served in various restaurants to train his skills.

His hard work payed off when he landed a job at an upscale sushi restaurant by the name of Kasen in Fountain Valley. After feeling he gained significant experience, he opened his own restaurant Sekitei in Monterey Park in 1995. He then moved to LA in 2003, where he opened and operated Kappo Ishito, a true fine dining experience. In 2010 he moved to San Diego to work at Robata-ya Oton, where he was appointed head chef. During his time working there, Oton received San Diego Home/Garden Magazine's 2011 Silver Fork Award. He now operates here at Kokoro Restaurant, offering a truly authentic Japanese cuisine and service to all the guests.