L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success

Tomoko Morishita, owner of the Japanese-American restaurant Eigikutei (栄菊亭)
Like many other restaurants in the City of Los Angeles, Tomoko Morishita, owner of the Japanese-American restaurant Eigikutei (栄菊亭), faced a substantial decrease in revenue during the pandemic. Morishita turned to EWDD’s Hollywood BusinessSource Center (BSC) for assistance in obtaining access to capital to keep her business afloat.

Due to public health restrictions during the pandemic, Eigikutei (栄菊亭), formerly known as Nirvana, was forced to shut down for five months and later only allowed to provide to-go orders along with offering limited outdoor seating to customers. Customers enjoyed eating sushi and sashimi on-site, but due to the restriction mandates, this was no longer an option and caused revenue to fall by 80% during the final months of 2020.

Embracing the unprecedented crisis, Morishita took the opportunity to revamp the business operations by submitting her tenant improvement project plan to the City of Los Angeles’ Planning Department. She shut down the restaurant in December 2020 to implement her plan. The restaurant was expected to re-open by December 2021 before major holidays, however, the process had been delayed significantly. With the help of the Hollywood BSC, the improvement permit was finally issued in September 2022 after experiencing a 12-month delay. During the process, the Hollywood BSC granted the restaurant a $250K disaster loan that was used to pay for rent and tenant improvements.
presentation of Eigikutei restaurant's Nabe Kaiseki and Sushi Kaiseki, a traditional Japanese hotpot and a delicate, multi-course sushi meal
Eigikutei's Nabe Kaiseki and Sushi Kaiseki, traditional Japanese hotpot and delicate, multi-course meal

Without the loan, Morishita would have needed to shut down the restaurant for a longer period or reduce the number of employees while unable to generate sales.

Now, Eigikutei has re-opened and offers customers an all-new dining experience. The restaurant focuses on serving Nabe Kaiseki (Japanese Hotpot – cooking meats and vegetables in hot broth) and Sushi Kaiseki. Kaiseki is a traditional delicate, multi-course Japanese meal with different price points to fit all budgets. Eigikutei is located in Council District 14.

Many residents of the City of Los Angeles have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Many are faced with job loss or are struggling to keep their businesses operational. EWDD is diligently working to provide crucial services, grants and programs. Check out our Recovery Resources and Business Services pages to learn more. We're here to help.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from December 2023. Read this issue and more.