Family Tradition

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Photo by Courtnay Robbins Bragagnolo

Ask Monique Yamaguchi — little sister to celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi — why she picked Playa Vista as the home for her first restaurant and her eyes light up, her mouth twists and turns, as she tells you that this is the last place she lived with her parents.

“My parents had me later in life,” she shares. “When I was in high school, I told them, ‘You guys will never have to live alone. I’ll take care of you guys.’ I didn’t know how much time I had with them.”

In 2008, the family moved to the area after her father was diagnosed with cancer, and for eight years she lived just a few blocks away from the boxy lawn and play area bordering Pacific Promenade, which her new Asian fusion restaurant Wellfed looks directly out on.

When her father died six years ago, Yamaguchi felt she had to do something to honor his memory.

Taking a cue from her much older middle brother Roy, who owns more than 30 restaurants in the U.S., hosted a TV series, published cookbooks and actually gave Monique her name (“I was one of the first examples of his love for fusing cultures: Japanese and French”), she decided to pour her blood, sweat and tears — into opening a restaurant. …

Read the full article at Playa Vista Direct.

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