Hama Sushi’s Esther Chaing

Get to know Hama Sushi’s Hama Mama Esther Chaing

If you have lived in Venice for any amount of time, chances are you have been to Hama Sushi on the Windward circle.  Well, today we will get to know Esther Chaing, also known as “Hama Mama.”
Esther, a familiar face around town, is the owner of Hama Sushi, which is the west coast’s first sushi restaurant.
Esther likes hoola hooping, hiking, watching classic movies and reading all sorts of books.
Esther first came to Venice in 1977 while she was earning an A.A. in textiles at L.A. Trade Tech.  Here she met her future husband, John, who was working with the artist Robert Graham at the time.  During their courtship, Esther and John would take long walks through the canals, beach, and boardwalk, forever endearing Venice in their hearts.

During her 27 years in the garment industry, Esther employed a staff of over 80 full time employees,  many of who worked for her for over 20 years. To this day the former employees stay in contact and have an annual party to catch up.    As well, Esther founded a preschool in Harbor City called My First School.  The school still operates today.  Most of the kids who went to the school  were children of Esther’s employees.  Now, they are fully grown and attend the annual mixer themselves.  Among them are policemen, teachers, college students and more!
In 2004 she bought Hama Sushi, and moved back to Venice, the town where she met her love.   For two years she ran both Hama and her garment business, then in 2006 sold her factory and became a full time Hama Mama.  Esther is very active in the community and supportive of a wide variety of causes.  Every Wednesday for over 10 years, she has gone to the boys juvenile camp in San Bernardino to run a Bible study and counseling class.  As well, Hama Sushi has organized and hosted the Venice Japanese Memorial Marker  event for the last seven years and is set to do it again in 2019.
Her son is a firefighter in Watts, and her daughters are a pharmacist, house wife and manager for an architect company.
She says her favorite item on the Hama menu is the green devil roll.
Esther loves being outside and says living near the beach lets you taste nature.
Speaking of tasting, if you have not tried the soft shell crab app or spicy  scallop roll on Hama’s happy hour menu, you should.   Happy hour is now 4-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday  And, they are open for lunch M-F at 12:00 p.m.  Woohoo!

See you at Hama Sushi!  213 Windward Avenue –  Venice, Ca 90291. (310)396-8783.    www.hamasushi.com


You don’t make it 40 years in Venice unless you are a real deal, legit, locally loved business. 

And Hama Sushi is that for sure.  2019 is the forty year mark for this iconic sushi bar, and Hama Sushi is inviting you over to celebrate.

Ultra fresh fish, hot and cold sake, a fantastic happy hour, surf movies every night, and locally curated art is what you get at Venice’s oldest sushi restaurant!

Check ’em out, and say hi to owner Esther Chaing, known around town as Hama Mama!

Established in 1979, Hama Sushi is the original Venice sushi spot.

About Hama Sushi: 

Established in 1979, Hama Sushi can be traced back in time to being one of the first sushi restaurants on the westside. Known for it’s unique ambience and casual setting, Hama brings the freshest and friendliest service. Locals, tourists and newcomers can all enjoy traditional Japanese cuisine with unique fusion dishes.New

Located on the circle of Windward/Main street, a block from the famous Venice Boardwalk, Hama has been a part of Venice Beach’s history for the past forty years.  213 Windward Avenue –  Venice, Ca 90291. (310) 396-8783.    www.hamasushi.com


Hama Sushi also offers:

  • View Dinner Menu
  • Historical Venice photos in their dining room.
  • Surf movies on their screens in their patio
  • Happy hour:  Mon.-Sat. . 4-7 p.m.    Closed Sunday
  • Closing theme song, played every night, is Hotel California by the Eagles
Hama Sushi.  213 Windward Avenue –  Venice, Ca 90291. (310)396-8783.    www.hamasushi.com

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