The Osaka Dream
The story behind why there is so many varieties of hidden gems goes as far back before Osaka existed. There was once a restaurant called Panchos, a Mexican restaurant, in the same establishment that is currently being occupied by Osaka. Everyone remembers Panchos. Heck, there is still Pancho remnants trying to blend in with the Osaka's main decor. Customers will still come into Osaka and mention how they can remember raising the Panchos flag on the table to get service. There are very few customers that come in and speak of the restaurant that occupied the space in the South College Shopping Center after Panchos but before Osaka.
Seoul Asiana was the name, and it was Lafayette's first ever authentic Korean restaurant. Seoul Asiana was the Le family's first restaurant before opening Osaka.
Mrs. Le was born in South Korea and moved to Lafayette in the 90's. Mr. Le, who was born in South Vietnam, moved to Lafayette in the __'s. This is the city in which they met, working together at Chung King. Mrs. Le has always been impressed by Mr. Le's cooking. He took an interest in cooking at a young age when he would help his mother prepare meals. His interest in cooking carried on with him, as he continuously studies and prepares exquisite flavors in every plate he makes.
Mr. Le took interest in learning how to prepare Korean cuisine so that he may cook his wife her favorites dishes. He became a natural and his meals were so well thought after by even all of the Korean community in Lafayette. That's when they knew they had to use their talents to introduce Lafayette to the first taste of authentic Korean cuisines. Seoul Asiana was an idea that brought a variety of Korean meals by setting out a Korean buffet during lunch, then setting out the white tables clothes for dinner for an elegant Korean dinner. Every dish prepared for dinner was outstanding. Unfortunately, Korean culture was still unfamiliar to many Lafayette natives in the early 2000's. Seoul Asiana had to shut their doors after only a few years. It took everything last bit energy they had to try again to open Osaka.
The first ever sushi chef at Osaka was Chef Gen Gi San. He flew in from California to help Osaka build their sushi menu. Gen Gi trained Mr. Le everything he knew about sushi. When Osaka's doors opened, you saw Gen Gi San making sushi in the middle of the restaurant in a small sushi bar care of the sushi bar as hot grill items came sizzling out the kitchen. The aroma of Mr. Le's cooking filled the entire dining room, making all guests to turn the heads to get a better smell. He kept a lot of inspiration from Seoul Asiana in a lot of his dishes.
Guest would still walk into Osaka to request a Korean meal and Mr. Le would usually accommodate. Over time, this requests became more frequent.
Eventually he wrote down on a piece of paper everything he was offering for anyone requesting a Korean meal.