“By SHELBY SEBENS for The Columbian”
Two sisters will launch their first restaurant this spring to share their Japanese cooking experience with Vancouver diners.
Monica Mo of Vancouver and her sister Mi Jung Mo, who will soon move to Vancouver from South Korea, plan to open Sushi Mo in a vacant storefront in downtown Vancouver. The sushi, hot food, saki and wine bar restaurant will open in the Gravitate building, which was the longtime home of Koplan’s Home Furnishings, at West 11th and Washington streets. Opening is set for sometime in March, Monica Mo said.
“Food has always been an important part of our life. My sister, Mi Jung, and I have loved to cook ever since we were young. For us, the love we had for cooking matched the love we had for eating, which is saying a lot,” Mo said in email. “We would always work together to create new recipes, while also repeatedly trying to improve others.”
Mo, who has restaurant experience, said she and her sister want to bring their family experience to a restaurant of their own. In addition to Japanese food, the restaurant will offer food selections from the sisters’ native South Korea, Mo said.
“We thought it made perfect sense to name the restaurant after our family, because this is exactly how we plan to treat all of our customers — like family,” she said.
The two women chose downtown Vancouver to fill what they saw as a gap in Japanese cuisine in the city’s downtown.
“We think everyone should have the opportunity to eat and share great food, so with this prime location, we can bring delicious, healthy and authentic Japanese food to the wonderful people of Vancouver,” Mo said.
Mo said she and her sister grew up with access to fresh and high-quality seafood from the sea near their home town of Masan, South Korea. The two women also worked with high-quality foods with the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation in South Korea. Locally, Mo said she worked at Japanese restaurants in Salmon Creek and in Beaverton, Clackamas and Hillsboro in Oregon, as well as Portland’s Pearl District and on Northwest 23rd Avenue.
“Because of these experiences, finding the healthiest and highest-quality ingredients became a priority in all of our food, which is why this will undoubtedly remain a priority at Sushi Mo,” she said. “At Sushi Mo, you can expect healthy, authentic, and of course, delicious Japanese sushi and seafood.”
The sisters are also working on a website for the restaurant.