Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Nancy Cries: 'So Long, Sushi'

Nancy Leson
Nancy's most frequented restaurant when the "open" sign was still on.

"Stein, I am devastated,"

The cause of  Nancy Leson's massive mope?  The Maldon Sea Salt factory closed?  Oysters actually do know what's happening to them?  Or did she discover the true content of the bestseller To Serve Man?  

Nope.  What it was, was... well, let's let Nancy tell it.

Nancy here:  I was crying in the car — for real — last week after stopping into Taka Sushi in Lynnwood for an early solo dinner. Why? Because I’d just heard the news that Taka, his wife Aiko (aka: Elaine) and their son Ken (chief cook and bottle washer) were closing shop this week: for good.

"What’s the big deal?" Stein wondered when I told him my sob story.

Well, for one thing, it came as a surprise, as I’d just been in there a couple weeks earlier and heard nary a peep about the impending closure.  I’m sick about it because I’ve been bellying up to Taka’s six-seat sushi bar with my family since my college-age son Nate needed a boost into his seat.

As I told Stein, Taka has been our “Cheers” forever. It’s the place where everyone knew your name and we knew theirs — including the many other happy customers who called Taka Sushi their home-away-from-home.

Hell, I can’t even remember the last time I had to order anything at this tiny joint, where 25 guests mean a full house and Taka served me whatever he wanted to, morsel after delicious morsel, until I’d cry “uncle.”

Well, it’s time for the Takayama family to cry uncle themselves. After 10 years running a Japanese restaurant in Shoreline, and 16 years thereafter in Lynnwood, they’re retiring and considering a move to Las Vegas.

If I were a betting woman (Stein’s forte, not mine) I’d bet you they’ll soon come out of retirement to open another little mom ‘n pop shop. Meanwhile, I salute them for their years of service to “regulars” like me.

Now, excuse me while I go cry into a bowl of instant ramen.

"Everything has to come to an end sometime." – L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.