David Bouhadana is 28 years old. He is originally from Florida and now lives in the city. Like a lot of guys his age, he loves sushi.
However, he is the only one who has also extensively studied the art of sushi-making in Japan, opened a restaurant in the East Village and became the first known Jewish sushi chef who is also a millennial.
In addition to running his flagship hotspot Sushi Dojo, he recently opened a takeout station in the Gansevoort Market and is in the process of bringing a gastropub to Tribeca.
How can millennials learn from Bouhadana, who broke barriers and is continuing to grow his business?
- Be resourceful. Bouhadana worked hard at perfecting his sushi-making skills. He also watched YouTube videos on the subject. He read Japanese books and blogs. Bouhadana says the advent of YouTube and blogs benefits our generation because they’re free and cover a variety of useful topics.
- Specialize. Bouhadana extensively studied and makes authentic, Tokyo-style sushi. Much of the fish is flown in daily from the Tsukiji Market. He could make it in his sleep. The fish is so fresh that it tastes as though it has just left the ocean.
- Stand out. Bouhadana has a unique story. His sushi restaurant is also unlike the others. He blasts house and hip-hop hits and has a tendency to lip sync on the job. Customers tend to befriend him and even buy him drinks, contributing to an informal and fun atmosphere. When I was there, David knew everyone in the room. Not everyone who dines there is as young as David, but they all seem to appreciate the ebullient environment.
Sushi Dojo is loosely translated as “a place to learn about sushi.” Education is Bouhadana’s goal at his establishment and is what he believes will continue to improve in a country that took its time to embrace enjoying the consumption of raw fish. “Over time, Americans will become more knowledgeable about sushi, the process for importing and exporting will get better and Chicago and Dallas will see higher quality sushi,” he predicts.