Meet The Team

 Atsushi Takatsuki
    Chef/Owner    
   
Atsushi was born and raised in Gardena, CA. His paternal grandparents were tangerine farmers in Shikoku, Japan. His maternal grandparents were strawberry farmers in California.   Growing up, his mother showed her children that cooking is something you do for people you care about and all family matters were handled at the dinner table.  His father had a commercial painting business in Gardena for 40 years.  Although all 5 kids ran away from the family business, all had to do their part in helping out. High standards and expectations were set from early on and upon graduating from Gardena High School, he chose to pursue a career in cooking.
"After Atsushi's dreams of becoming a Laker were dashed by Kobe Bryant, he found his passion in cooking. His superpowers include teleporting, quick retorts, & perfect pairing of flavors."
Takatsuki studied at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and apprenticed at Jules Verne in  Paris where he trained under chef Alain Reix before returning stateside.  His first professional position was at the famed Payard Patisserie and Bistro in New York. There he worked closely with Philippe Bertineau, who after two years sent Takatsuki to the 3 Michelin starred Le Bernardin. During his time there, the restaurant received 4 stars from the New York Times. Spending two more years in the house the Ripert built, Takatsuki left Le Bernardin and the East Coast for his hometown, where he joined the Thousand Cranes team at the New Otani Hotel continuing to hone his craft. Next, he earned the Executive Sous Chef position at Michael Mina’s Stonehill Tavern which received 3.5 stars from the LA Times, followed by a chef de cuisine gig at Café Del Rey.  Three years later he joined Chef David LeFevre’s opening team at MB Post as chef de cuisine. In his role there, he helped bring destination dining to the South Bay and earned a LA Rising Star Chef award in 2014(starchefs.com). Atsushi brings over 15 years of experience and leadership in some of the country’s top kitchens and is looking forward to continuing his career and passion in the South Bay. 
Nick Song
Ticiana Bondar
    Pickling Enthusiast    
aka TI, T Pain, or TeeCee
Nick, or “HO SUN” depending on who asks, came from North Korea at a very young age.  He really does it all.  He's a ferocious cook, a charming server, our hot sauce maker, and competitive eater. His doctor says he has very large tonsils.  He comes to Painter’s Tape after working for celebrity chefs David Lefevre and Auguste Escoffier. (According to his resume)

Fun Fact: Nick was inspired to cook after watching the Korean version of Pixars “Ratatouille” 
Ticiana is a rare breed of chef.  Tough as nails.  Often imitated but never duplicated.  She has an unhealthy fetish with miniature vegetables and loves quoting Beerfest.  She hails from Argentina and claims she can communicate with Tigers. She joined the team at Painters Tape after stints at MB Post, Jon and Vinny’s and Aestus all in Los Angeles. She hates bullies but loves summer squash. 
Lyn Leong
Christiane Hur
Bouncer/Cashier
Vegetable Massager and Social Media Guru
Lyn is a master at taking care of guests.  She is an ex elementary school teacher who specialized in keeping kids from eating glue.  She is the mother of 3 beautiful daughters, 2 adopted sons, 4 dogs, and a Komodo Dragon.  She loves Kombucha, Sudoku, and vegetables equally.  She also is a long time LA resident.
Christiane, or Uni as she likes to be called, wishes she was a cat and loves a good cry.  She ran away from a traveling circus in Brazil to pursue cooking and photography in the United States.  She is a connoisseur of rare international potato chips and is responsible for our “lords chips”.  She cut her teeth in the kitchen after working for Chefs Ray Hayashi and Andrew Betita here in Los Angeles.

Fun Fact: Christiane is fluent in Portuguese, English, Korean and Ebonics.
John Torres
Kaori Takatsuki 
Prep Machine and Handyman
Taste Tester/Cashier
Johnny is great with cars but even better with broccoli.  He is our salad specialist and expert in Spanish.

Fun fact: Johnny lied on his application and faked his way into the restaurant game.  He has been kicking ass since then and never looked back.
Kao is the utility player at the restaurant.  Not only does she take care of guests, but is a relentless task master.  She is a great improviser and problem solver.  Her only weakness is her inability to do a proper cartwheel. (terrible form)

Fun Fact: She taught our chef/owner how to flip food in a pan over 20 years ago!  She a badass cook!