How about a giant fist bump for Hama Mama Esther Chaing, her husband Jon, Chef Renee’, GM Logan, and the entire crew at Hama Sushi for this amazing milestone.

You don’t make it that long in the restaurant business in Venice unless you are crushing it.  And Hama for sure is!  High five’s to the beloved Hama Sushi!

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.

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.

Thank you to Hama Sushi’s Hama Mama Esther Chaing and family for all your hard work in keeping Hama Sushi’s doors open  for the locals and visitors to enjoy!  We love you Esther! C


  • Check out Esther’s interview!
  • Hama Sushi’s Happy Hour flyers
  • 40th anniversary photos

Hama’s Happy Hour is the best!

Get to know Hama Sushi’s Hama Mama Esther Chaing

Check out our 2019 interview with Esther!

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.

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

Re-live Hama Sushi’s  40th Anniversary photos by Venice Paparazzi!

On November 9, 2019, Venetians and visitors alike came out en masse to enjoy what had to be one of the best community parties of the year.  Windward Ave. was closed from the circle to Riviera, and played host to:  a multitude of vendors, Venice Vintage Motorcycle Club, classic car show, VW beetle club, Venice Beach Football League, Deejay Jacques, Venice Art Crawl kids coloring station, Japanese calligraphy, a red carpet arrival set up, and of course the Venice Paparazzi photo booth!

Jimmy, Esther Chaing, and Todd von Hoffmann

Venice Paparazzi’s Alex and Edizen, Venice Originals’ Bobby Bliss, and friends

Venice Vintage Motorcycle

Micky Schuman, Venice Japanese Memorial Marker’s Phylis, and Esther Chaing

Esther Chaing wiht VBFC. Venice Beach Football Club

Hama Sushi’s Esther presented with her own Venice Sign Light Bulb

The iconic Venice Sign lit up with the Hama colors.

A huge high five to the involved parties, who came together as a team and organized this fantastic 2019 event in under four weeks:

Venice Paparazzi – arranged for Certificates of Recognition from Ted Lieu and Sheila Kuhl, presented awards,  flipped the Venice Sign switch to Hama colors, rolled out the red carpet set, did event photography, and provided a Hama themed photo booth sponsored by Hama Sushi, Hotel Erwin and Green Goddess Collective.

Midnight Bazaar – organized vendors, car show, motor cycle show, VBFL soccer area, and developed blue print and time line of the event

Flightless Nerds– got neighbors to sign off on street closure, interfaced with CD 11 in obtaining street closure permits.

David Stein and David Kacvinski– graphic design of all marketing materials, T-shirt design, coloring template for kids art booth

Todd von Hoffmann– organized the slide show that played all night inside Hama Sushi, and created Hama 40th plaque.

Red Bull- donating the DJ stage and hi boys

Deejay Jacques- Deejaying the event.

Go team!

High Fives by Venice Ball

Looking for your photo?  Find it here!

Go to Hama Sushi, 213 Windward Avenue –  Venice, Ca 90291.

213 Windward Avenue –  Venice, Ca 90291. (310)396-8783.

  • OPEN Mon-Sat 4pm
  • Happy Hour Patio Bar Top Only 4pm-7pm
  • RSVP (310) 396-8783
  • Take-Out/Phone & Online Orders
  • Delivery Apps
  • Closed on Sunday

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