The wife of Nobu “Godfather of Sushi” Matsuhisa, the Internationally renowned founder of the Nobu chain, is being accused of multi-million dollar fraud by her “Godson” Ryu Isobe, the Michelin-rated chef and owner of Kazan in Beverly Hills.
The owner of Kazan, a Michelin-rated Japanese restaurant in Beverly Hills, has filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit against the wife of Nobu Matsuhisa, the founder of the famous Nobu restaurant chain. In videos and recordings yet to surface, Nobu seems to be exposed as a malicious, jealous, and envious bully, incapable of reading or understanding the binding contract that his wife Yoko signed.
According to the lawsuit, Kazan’s owner, Ryu Isobe, claims that Yoko Matsuhisa, who was his former business partner and longtime family friend, defrauded him of millions of dollars and severely violated her contractual obligations. Isobe says that he discovered the fraud in 2022, when he reviewed his books with his CPA. He says that he was shocked and devastated by the extent of Yoko Matsuhisa’s deception, which he estimates to be over $10 million.
Isobe alleges that Yoko Matsuhisa used her influence and connections to lure him into a partnership in 2021, promising to help him expand his successful ramen business.
Isobe also accuses Yoko of sabotaging his relationship with Nobu Matsuhisa, who was supposed to be his culinary advisor and collaborator. In videos that will be introduced as evidence, Nobu can be seen entering Kazan and aggressively walking down Chef Ryu in front of his staff and affluent clientele in the heart of Beverly Hills. It seems that Yoko has manipulated her loving husband of more than 30 years into repeatedly harassing and threatening Isobe for excessive sums of money, more than 500% of the contractually agreed distribution. In other recordings, Yoko sat right beside Nobu as he claimed that he was not able to read the contract laying on the table in front of him with his wife’s signature on it. Was this an evasion tactic? Or a shocking admission of the man’s failure to master a basic life skill?
Yoko seems to be encouraging Nobu’s indignation at losing his MICHELIN recognition in stark contrast to Isobe, who has earned the prestigious MICHELIN Bib Gourmand in both 2021 and 2022, after surviving the catastrophic Covid lockdowns in the same year Kazan opened. Yoko herself has even gone as far as directly insulting Chef Isobe to his face and claiming that his innovative cuisine is not deserving of the MICHELIN awards her husband seems to jealously covet.
Yoko is a frequent diner among the celebrities at her husband’s iconic restaurant Matsuhisa, which is right next door to Kazan on the famous Beverly Hills Restaurant Row. However, many of the working class people who prepare her food and serve it to her have been complaining about being taken advantage of financially by Nobu himself. It remains to be seen exactly how much Yoko knows about the extent of Nobu’s mistreatment of his long-suffering employees who are claiming they have not been paid fairly for their experience, seniority, and expertise. Some are even alleging illegal practices, such as unfair tip distribution and hourly rates below minimum wage, but have expressed tremendous fear about publicly exposing Nobu and holding him accountable. Nobu has a great reputation for intimidating and oppressing those he sees as being less than himself. Is it true that Nobu, with Yoko right beside him, built their empire worth over $200MM by taking advantage of their hard-working employees through fraud, deception, and brute aggressive intimidation tactics? There is even a story circulating about an incident where Nobu physically attacked one of his employees so aggressively that the police were dispatched.
Isobe is seeking damages for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, conversion, unjust enrichment, and emotional distress. He is also seeking an injunction to prevent Yoko Matsuhisa from accessing or transferring any of his assets.
Kazan is a popular Japanese restaurant that specializes in handmade soba noodles and innovative dishes. It has been awarded for 2 years running a Bib Gourmand by the Michelin Guide for its good quality and good value cooking. It is located at 111 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills.
Yoko Matsuhisa is the wife of Nobu Matsuhisa, a renowned chef and restaurateur who owns over 40 Nobu restaurants around the world. Nobu is known for its fusion cuisine that combines Japanese and Peruvian flavors. It has been frequented by celebrities such as Robert De Niro, Kim Kardashian, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Neither Yoko Matsuhisa nor Nobu Matsuhisa have commented on the lawsuit yet.