clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Pioneering Bay Area Sushi Chef Ken Tominaga Dies at 61

Known for his Sonoma County restaurant Hana Japanese, Ken Tominaga died Monday of cancer.

(06/10/2015 Boston, MA) Chef Ken Tominaga is part of plans for a Japanese restaurant in the soon to be completed Millennium Towers in Downtown Crossing. Wednesday, June 10, 2015. Staff Photo by Matt West.
Chef Ken Tominaga
Photo by Matt West/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

Chef Ken Tominaga, a pioneering sushi chef known for his Sonoma County restaurant Hana Japanese Restaurant, died earlier this week after a short battle with cancer, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Tominaga had been a part of the Bay Area dining community for more than three decades, and his restaurant Hana was long popular with those in the industry thanks to its reputation for “impeccable attention to detail and seasonal fish.” Most recently, Tominaga lent his name and talents to the much-anticipated multilevel downtown Healdsburg restaurant the Matheson. In addition to a tasting menu restaurant and a rooftop lounge, the restaurant includes a sushi bar which Tominaga oversaw.

In a statement on the Hana Japanese Restaurant Facebook page, Tominaga’s family described the chef as a self-motivated man who loved cooking, surfing, golfing, and being a father. “His passion for Japanese flavor was infectious and as he grew his family, he grew a thriving business for over 30 years sharing his mastery of traditional Japanese cooking with the Bay Area community and beyond,” the post reads in part. The restaurant will continue to be run by the chef’s family, which includes his sons Keita and Kousuke and his wife Emiko.

Dave’s Hot Chicken plans three new Bay Area restaurants

Three new franchised locations of Dave’s Hot Chicken, the Los Angeles-based chain known for drawing long lines of customers craving fiery Nashville-style fried chicken tenders, will open three new Bay Area locations this summer, the Chronicle reports. The restaurants are expected to land in Oakland, San Leandro and Sunnyvale, joining existing restaurants in Santa Rosa and Union City.

United Dumplings and Bluestone Lane to open in the Marina

San Francisco Business Times has been digging into public records, spotting plans for several new businesses in the Marina. The list includes a United Dumplings location, as in a second location of the Bernal Heights spot for cheese and Korean barbecue-filled dumplings. Bluestone Lane also appears to be opening on Chestnut Street.

There’s a new Ghanaian fine dining pop-up launching this week

Bay Area chef Selasie Dotse has spent time at some of the area’s best restaurants including Lazy Bear, Avery, and SPQR — now she’s launching a pop-up called Elade Test Kitchen, which KQED describes as “a culinary exploration of Dotse’s own Ghanaian heritage, but done through the lens of modern fine dining techniques and presentation.” The first dinner takes place Sunday, May 29 at Copas on Market.

Did you know ‘Bob’s Burgers’ has ‘deep San Francisco roots’?

Just in time for this weekend’s debut of the “Bob’s Burgers Movie,” SFGATE did a deep-dive into the show’s San Francisco roots. Specifically, the website reports the show has ties to the Mission District, where “Bob’s Burgers” creator Loren Bouchard used to live and work.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater San Francisco newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world