First US location: Sawtelle (West LA) in 1998
First location featuring robots: West Hollywood, October 2020
Address: 8486 W 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90048
Manpuku, which means “to be happy with a full stomach” in Japanese, opened its doors to hungry customers in Tokyo more than 60 years ago.
1998 it took the leap and introduced Japanese BBQ to American consumers with its first US location in West LA.
Now, it is launching a brand-new food concept in West Hollywood featuring the first robotic sushi machine made Omusando.
Omusando – from the word “omusubi,” Japanese rice ball, and the American word “sandwich” – replaces bread with the rice and nori (seaweed) that normally accompany sushi.
The concept was developed in collaboration with AUTEC, the nation’s leading commercial robotic sushi machine provider.
Video: Chef Behzad Jamshidi of Moosh NYC. AUTEC partnered with the chef to create three unique omusando dishes to initially launch the concept for the food industry in August 2020.
Automation – Sushi Boom
50 years ago, most Americans have never heard of Sushi. It took a boom in immigration from Japan, health experts to promote the benefits Omega3 fatty acids and Hollywood to embrace Sushi as fashionable. Today, Japanese food is synonymous with Sushi and can be purchased pre-packaged at the supermarket.
This demand requires a shift to mass-production.
Automation has become a necessity in the food industry to address the required levels of quality consistency, production speed, increase in labour cost and overall profitability. Yet, producing something so delicate as a sushi roll, that requires rice cooked to perfection, in mass-production was hard to figure out.
Photo credit: AUTEC
Manpuku launched the omusando concept with three options, using their signature and most popular meat dishes as the fillings, available for $30 (plus tax).
● US Wagyu Yakiniku Omusando: US Wagyu BBQ, leaf lettuce, tomato, cucumber, tsukedare (BBQ sauce), and mayonnaise
● Spicy Miso Skirt Steak Omusando: US prime outside skirt, leaf lettuce, jalapeño, tsukedare (BBQ sauce), and mayonnaise
● Beef Filet Cutlet Omusando: Filet mignon cutlet, cabbage, spicy miso sauce, and mayonnaise
AUTEC created the omusando concept for their ASM865A sushi robot, which makes up to 1,300 rice sheets per hour, to inspire restaurant owners and chefs to continuously innovate rice-focused dishes beyond sushi rolls and burritos. AUTEC’s sushi machines enable chefs to rapidly create the perfect omusando base: an evenly spread and precisely portioned rice sheet that can be filled with almost anything for endless meal possibilities.
AUTEC is a commercial sushi robot manufacturer supplying equipment to food service businesses and academic institutions around the world with aesthetically pleasing robots that produce high-quality sushi. AUTEC’s goal is to make high-quality sushi accessible and affordable to anyone, anywhere by designing robots to assist all levels of sushi chefs and various types of businesses to successfully run at a lower operational cost.