If you're wondering where Sushi Jimmi is these days, look in Lakeland. Jimmy “Sushi Jimmi” Sinh now is working at the new Saito 2 Hibachi & Sushi restaurant.
Sinh, who says things didn’t work out at J. T. Fusion, the now defunct restaurant inside La Hacienda in Cordova, happened upon the second location of Saito while driving around Lakeland. “I saw some lights inside. I told myself, ‘Hey, look, I need a job,’” Sinh says. “I just went in there the old school way, which is walk in and ask for a job. And they told me, ‘We are hiring. When can you start?’”
They hired him as a sushi chef. “They were impressed with my work. At first they didn’t know who I was.”
His boss then discovered he was the former owner of the popular Sushi Jimmi’s restaurant, which was on Poplar near the viaduct, Sinh says.
Sinh is impressed with the restaurant. “It was home to me when I came into work. That kind of vibe reminded me of how we operated at Sushi Jimmi. Treat people well. Whatever needs to be done, we all chip in and we do it together.”
Saito 2, which also has another location, Saito Japanese Hibachi & Sushi at 6600 Stage Road, also features hibachi and sushi, but, Sinh says, “Their rolls are different from mine ‘cause the style is different. They also allow me to make my customers any special they like.”
He describes the decor as “very modern.”
The new Saito, which currently is holding soft openings, is slated to officially open later in December, Sinh says. “I don’t want to work just anywhere. I want to work where I’m going to be happy. I don’t want to end up leaving in a few months. I wasn’t planning for J. T. Fusion to go down that fast.
“I know people look at me: ‘He’s going this place. He’s going that place.’ To me, if you’re not happy where you work, then you shouldn’t be working there. Of course, that’s a no-brainer question. If you’re not happy where you are, go find a place that will make you feel happy.
“I took my time. I came in the right place when I came in here.”
Saito 2 Hibachi & Sushi is at 9775 Hwy. 64, Arlington, Tennessee; (901) 590-2561.