It’s been 10 years since Miki Izumisawa opened 242 Café Fusion Sushi on North Coast Highway. Since then, she has become a mini-restaurant mogul or, to be more precise, a mogul of mini-restaurants; locations have opened in Manhattan Beach and, most recently, in San Clemente. The Laguna location is the smallest, with its 22 seats, but not by much. The other two are each called Sushi Gallery Miki, and all three feature art by Miki and her friends. As well as being one of the few female sushi chefs, she is also an artist, was an accomplished softball player in her native Japan and is a devotee of Tai-chi, Buddhism and New Age spirituality.
This tiny little bistro has virtually no room for décor other than a few works of art by the chef and a few wine bottles on some shelving, a few more sake bottles and a collection of random “stuff.” The open kitchen is not of the show kitchen ilk but rather a real working kitchen, now headed by sushi chef-surfer Takahiro Jitsumoto, a former gourmet French-Italian chef in Japan, while Miki cooks mostly in San Clemente.