Sam Ray was just trying to pay the rent during his junior year of college when he started serving at his favorite Japanese restaurant in town. Three weeks later, he was promoted to manager. But, as much as Ray loved his new job, the eatery was on the brink of closing.
“I had some ideas and a little bit of tip money, so I met with the owner and invested everything I had (personally and financially) into saving the restaurant in exchange for a small percentage of the business,” says Ray, who now co-owns Tsunami Sushi & Hibachi Grill in downtown Sarasota.
After some minor remodeling, menu changes and staff training, the restaurant’s sales increased by 200 percent in six months.
“I realized this was something I was truly passionate about and I definitely wanted more,” Ray says.
So did his customers. They began flocking to the restaurant for signature dishes like the King Lobster Roll, the Lobster Yakisoba and the Salmon Hibachi.
“Our chef has refined his technique in his 20 years of being in the kitchen. From our 32-ounce rib-eye that is grilled to perfection to the sushi-grade filet of salmon baked with a honey glaze, patrons have the opportunity to experience some less mainstream Japanese cuisine,” Ray says.
In Ray’s opinion, what makes Tsunami an “Original” restaurant is that the staff “strives to make every meal a celebration of the senses,” he says. “Our team works to ensure that every aspect of your visit is designed specifically to your individual tastes.”
Tsunami Sushi & Hibachi Grill | 100 Central Avenue #1022 | Sarasota | 941-366-1033 | www.tsunamisushisarasota.com
Author: Abby Weingarten