How Sushi Ko's Business Fared After Kitchen Nightmares

Gordon Ramsay tried to help a once-successful sushi restaurant stuck in the doldrums on a 2010 episode of "Kitchen Nightmares." Sushi Ko in Thousand Oaks, California, owned by married couple Akira and Lisa Hatae, was struggling, and the stress was taking its toll on the family and their finances. Akira was unmotivated and suffering from low self-esteem. Lisa often berated him, and the restaurant's struggles were taking emotional and financial tolls on their adult children, Hana and Sammy. Ultimately, Ramsay's help wasn't enough to save the business, which closed in 2009 before the episode aired (via Reality TV Revisited).

Sushi Ko Thousand Oaks was a new iteration of the popular restaurant in Bel Air that Akira once owned. Unfortunately, the Thousand Oaks restaurant, plagued by poor management and bad food, wasn't doing too well. When Ramsay tried the restaurant's specialties, he was appalled by what he found. The miso soup was cold and salty, the "green tower" had a hair in it, and the salmon sashimi was frozen and chewy. Worst of all, the "sushi pizza" was so "rancid" Ramsay spit it out immediately.

The sushi pizza was memorialized as one of the worst dishes ever served on Kitchen Nightmares. A concoction of salmon, crab, cheese, and mayo on top of sushi rice, Ramsay called the dish "an insult to Japanese culture." As he uncovered a bevy of problems in Sushi Ko's kitchen, many viewers wondered if the famous chef's help would be enough to save the establishment.

Gordon Ramsay tackled glaring problems, but the restaurant was doomed

When Gordon Ramsay decided to see what was happening in the kitchen, he discovered multiple potential health hazards, including the kitchen staff's lack of hats or hair nets and a broken refrigerator and fryer. Ramsay decided they needed to bring back Akira's self-confidence and passion for cooking to revive the restaurant. The "Kitchen Nightmares" host gave the family more than a pep talk. He helped provide some much-needed new equipment for the kitchen (including several functional refrigerators and fryers), revamped decor, and welcome upgrades to the menu. That's right, no more sushi pizza.

By the end of the episode, things were going better for Sushi Ko. However, a search for a new location was unsuccessful, and the business couldn't rebound from debts and past failures. Sushi Ko's Thousand Oaks location has since been home to a deli, an Umami Burger, and now hosts a California Pizza Kitchen.

According to his page on Harri, Akira is now a purchaser and exporter of cosmetics. The Hatae kids, Hana and Sammy, have moved away from the restaurant business to work in design and photography. The Hatae family appears to be happy and well. They went to a Grateful Dead concert recently, according to Hana's Instagram.