Photography by Michelle Kilfeather
Yuka Ioroi's family name dates back to the 700s.
She grew up in Shizuoka prefecture in Japan with Mt. Fuji nearby. Her parents ran a business, and Yuka sees some of their ways of operating reflected in her own running of Cassava.
She moved to Los Angeles when she was 15. In the podcast, she describes some culture shock she experienced as well as a diversity she didn't see at home. After college, she worked an office job but got burnt out on that. From strip club bartending to waiting tables at a country club, she moved on to manager at a new restaurant. And that's where she met her future husband, Kris.
Yuka ends Part 1 talking about what brought the couple north to San Francisco in 2008.
In Part 2, Yuka talks about her and her husband Kris's arrival in San Francisco. She worked a number of bartending jobs in The City before the couple decided to open their own place in 2012.
She talks about lessons she learned at those bartending gigs and how, along with observations she had made of how her parents ran in their business back in Japan, she has worked hard to do things right at her own restaurant.
Yuka talks about shifting Cassava into what it is now, scaled back due to the pandemic. She ends the episode reflecting on what it is about San Francisco, and especially the Outer Richmond, that she loves.
Unfortunately, Cassava had to close temporarily, but they hope to reopen next week. They also hope to start taking reservations for their new parklet soon.
We recorded this podcast at Cassava in the Outer Richmond in August 2020.