The Sushi-zen Story

Origins of Sushi-Zen Japanese Restaurant

Dreams can come true in America. Many years ago when Shoji Mochizuki came to America from Japan, he had a dream of owning his own business. Many times he said he owed a great debt of gratitude to America--for a job, his wife (who he met here), and his phenomenal children-- Malinda and Brian. Shoji wanted to repay that debt by creating a business that would help others earn a living and bring delicious Japanese food to the local Arlington, VA community. Shoji had extensive years working in sushi restaurants learning the craft of making sushi, but always for someone else.

Shoji and a friend, who was also a sushi chef, pooled their resources together and in 1997, opened Sushi-Zen Japanese Restaurant. Working on the practical, administration side to make this dream a reality was Shoji's wife, Rosie. Since 2010, the dream has been carried on, and expanded by, son Brian. Brian brings a fresh, innovative approach to Sushi-Zen and is spearheading artistic sushi creations. Daughter Malinda is helping her mother with many of the new technological advances needed to keep current in business development.

Why "Sushi-Zen"?

The “Zen” in Sushi-Zen has several meanings in Japanese. The Japanese character for Zen used in Sushi-Zen means, "dining table" and is a time for family and friends to share a meal, discuss the day’s happenings, and enjoy their time together in a warm family atmosphere.

Sushi-Zen is truly a family affair with Shoji's wife and two children working to support the restaurant. Brian and Malinda were very "active" children, so dining out was a real challenge. Shoji and Rosie were determined that families with children would always feel welcome at Sushi-Zen. Judging by the number of parents who bring their children to Sushi-Zen, they have succeeded in reaching that goal.

Click here to read more about Sushi-Zen's story and vision or watch this video interview commemorating our 20th anniversary. 


Sushi-Zen's commitment is to continue exploring ways to create menu items from superior ingredients. Our ongoing mission is to continue to improve and work towards the goal of making Sushi-Zen widely known as, "Arlington's Favorite Neighborhood Gathering Place" with innovative and healthy menu items.






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