Tona’s owner and Executive Chef, Tony Chen, grew up in Ogden, Utah. Chen moved to San Francisco to pursue his career after college. There, Chen worked as a designer in an architectural firm and kept a part time position in a Japanese restaurant. While gaining knowledge in the architectural field, Chen found his true desire was still in cooking. The idea of owning his own restaurant one day had always been in his mind since his teenage years.
San Francisco is a cultural melting pot. While living in San Francisco, Chen was exposed to ethnic cuisines from around the globe. The unique taste of different ethnic food inspired Chen to incorporate those ingredients and spices into his Japanese dish, which later became his cooking style. In his dish, guests will find ingredients like extra virgin olive oil, Thai chili, jalapeños, truffle salts, micro farmed greens, beets….Chen’s architectural background defines the way he constructs and balance the taste of his dish through layers and textures.
After moved back to his hometown Ogden, Chen opened Tona with his wife Tina Yu in March 2004. The name Tona is a combination of both Tony and Tina. Chen’s creative cooking style soon drew local attention. Chen is a believer of local sourcing. He understands the contributions local farmers have for the community. He uses seasonal ingredients in his dish whenever possible. Chen also supports sustainable fishing. He maintains a positive and responsible attitude toward sustainability, not just in fish but also ingredients he uses in all his dish.
Here at Tona, Chen only brings the best quality ingredients to his guests. He works his magic through creativity and endless possibilities. Guests love coming back for more and often find new dish being introduced here at Tona. Fresh seafood and amazing sushi in a friendly and inviting environment make Tona a hotspot and a local favorite. Guests enjoy coming in to Tona, always seeing Chen behind the sushi bar, working at his edible art and find his wife Yu on the dining floor, making sure each guest is well taken care of. Their superb quality of food and high standards for customer service win guests’ loyalty year after year.