Kawafuku was arguably the first sushi restaurant to open in the United States, opening in 1923 and unveiling a sushi bar in the 1960s. Owner Nakajima Tokijiro partnered with importer Noritoshi Kanai and sushi chef Shigeo Saito to serve nigiri-style sushi to an audience of mostly Japanese immigrants. While little is known of what was actually served here, there was counter service and nigiri-style sushi, which means that it did play an early, formative role in the evolution of omakase in Los Angeles. The restaurant led to spin-off concepts like restaurant Tokyo Kaikan (where later the California roll was supposedly invented) and kickstarted the sushi trend in America.
Read more about Kawafuku’s rich history here.