DINING OUT ... WITH FRIENDS AT
by Mike Sanchez Photos by Mike Sanchez and Krys Pena
Way back in 2000 , two lovely people , Kyong and Kim Chung , opened a new restaurant . They were a young couple with two small kids . Theirs was the first restaurant of its kind to open in Gilroy .
ver since , Ninja Shushi has been the place to go if you ’ re looking for delicious sushi and a great environment . Kyong and Kim worked tirelessly to provide excellent service , serve the best sushi , and make friends with many , if not most , of their patrons . They raised their kids to be amazing young adults , and both went on to higher learning .
Fast forward 22 years ( April 26 of this year ). The kids have returned to help mom and dad run the restaurant . Son Ryan is a graduate of the Culinary Academy in San Francisco and has worked in some of the finest kitchens . He now runs the kitchen at Ninja Sushi . Daughter Ashley completed college but due to the shutdown , was not able to experience graduation . Ashley runs the front of the house like a champ . She and Ryan have been in the restaurant business most of their lives . The 2020 mandated forced closure of the restaurant initially provided the family with some much-needed rest . Then , like many , they faced the great economic shutdown with hope in uncertain times , with wisdom and perspective to navigate those times , and with teamwork . Business picked up slowly and is now once again brisk . Kyong is humbled by the support from the community they ’ ve received over the years . “ I ’ m so grateful to this community . They have supported us from the very start and have continued to support us .” He said .
Kim , who nine years ago opened a yogurt shop in the same shopping center , was busy from the start . “ We just want to say , ‘ thank you ’ to the community for supporting us .” She said .
Not long ago on a Monday night , we rolled in to Ninja Sushi for a ‘ Dining Out ’ installment . To shine a light on this great family and their great restaurant is a pure joy . They are very deserving of recognition and appreciation for the great job they do . As always , for this article we enlisted friends to help with the research and reporting . For this assignment we couldn ’ t think of anyone better than Lisa and Ernesto ‘ Ernie ’ Faria .
Ernie immigrated to the US from the Azores when he was 19 and has worked in the drywall business for 40 years . He owns TFK Drywall in Hollister with his two brothers . Ernie spends his " off " time raising black angus cows and growing hay to feed them . He is a grape grower and winemaker , and loves living the rural life on the outskirts of Gilroy . Over the years , Ernie has amassed a fantastic collection of items and created a personal museum in his barn . Ernie ’ s down time is lived at 90 miles per hour . He is truly a local legend .
Lisa has lived her entire life within a 30-mile radius of San Jose and has lived in South County since 1976 . She attended Live Oak High School , Gavilan Community College , and San Jose State . Lisa has been a real estate agent since 2005 and has won many awards . Recently selected as Realtor of the Year for Gilroy , she was also listed among the Top 5 % real estate professionals at Corcoran Global Living . She is the 2022 president of the 6000-plus member Santa Clara County Association of Realtors . Lisa is an avid hiker , loves to cook and entertain , and delights in spending time with her family . She loves being a grandmother . We get it !
Lisa and Ernie love to travel and have done so extensively . They are huge supporters our local community .
Rolling into the restaurant , we were ready to escape the day for a while , relax , and have some fun . Ashley greeted us then seated us , promptly asking if she could get us started with drinks . Who are we to stand in her way ? We went for a bottle of hot sake ( a Japanese
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