• Jarnard Sutton

Exploring Ramen with Isamu "Sam" Morikizono of Tajima

Isamu "Sam" Morikizono, owner of Tajima, chats about their focus on its ramen and how they are putting a lot of attention towards their recipes and the quality. Watch the video below.

Filmed & Edited by Jarnard Sutton

About Isamu "Sam" Morikizono

Photo credit Jarnard Sutton

Are you from San Diego?

I was raised in Japan. When I was older, I traveled for a bit. I lived in Illinois for two years, then Los Angeles for six and then finally in 2001, I settled in San Diego.

What inspired you to become a chef?

I really enjoy cooking. I love creating something from a mix of ingredients and sharing that dish with friends and family. Nothing is better than seeing people smile after they enjoy something you made.

What has your journey been since the launch of Tajima?

When Tajima first launched, our focus was to offer traditional Japanese dishes for Japanese and Asian customers. Once our ramen gained popularity, we shifted focus towards creating delicious ramen with high quality ingredients. Over the years, we've proudly opened seven additional locations, continuing our journey of being San Diego's favorite ramen hotspot.

Why do you think Tajima has been so successful and popular with diners in San Diego?

Good food and friendly service, and a desire to always improve what we offer to our customers.

18 years ago, did you think Tajima would have grown this much?

I had no idea! It's been great.