We had the good fortune of connecting with Sara Nam and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sara, how do you define success?
From the standpoint of Edoko Omakase, I define success as offering our guests the greatest experience we possibly can. The mission is quite simple: our guests mean so much to us, and we will work to serve our guests to the best of our ability. Through the dedication, integrity, and talent our team members bring to the table each day, I can confidently say that we strive toward our mission relentlessly. We can’t be perfect and we will certainly make mistakes. Having said that, failures and setbacks help us reach that success we yearn for. We pride ourselves in our readiness and willingness to consistently improve, refine, and progress, and we could never be successful without this process. Behind everything we serve is the culmination of hard work, unwavering passion, and constant reflection. Ultimately, mistakes are a significant part of how we aim for success and we are simply humbled to be travelers in this exciting journey. In my life, I define success as helping others succeed. When we all succeed, we are all winners! I cannot imagine being able to do what I do today without the endless help and encouragement I have been blessed to receive. To this day I am supported by my family, friends, colleagues … the list goes on. With that, I work my hardest to ensure those around me excel at what they do. When we can all work together and contribute toward a greater good, that particular sense of fulfillment at the end of the day is incomparable.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Without a doubt, we are proud of our ingredients. At Edoko Omakase we receive an extensive variety of fish and other seafood from Japan, through which we confidently serve the best dishes we can. The sourcing of our ingredients adds that distinct, can’t-miss flair that we are so excited to share with our guests. Of course, the whole staff is involved in ensuring that these ingredients are procured, handled, and prepared to best bring out their flavors and qualities. In establishing Edoko Omakase, we initially identified a need for an original, yet familiar Japanese culinary experience. Especially important to our restaurant’s creation was bringing the ocean to inland Texas, where one can enjoy fresh-out-the-water ingredients presented in dazzling arrangements. As far as how Edoko Omakase unfolded, nothing has been easy — but that’s how we have exceeded our expectations! We first opened our doors just weeks before the pandemic, and we would be lying if we said that the first month wasn’t tough. But I am beyond proud of our team and thankful for our community’s support, for if it weren’t for everyone’s tremendous effort, then we may not have made it one year into the pandemic. As our restaurant progressed through its initial phases, we encountered doubts, mishaps, and more doubt. One thing that has remained constant in our team is our daily huddle. In fact, I should say daily huddles because we regroup a few times throughout the day to not only correct our mistakes, but build each other up. In addition, we cherish any input and constructive critiques from our guests, and we reach out to them! We reach out to our guests and our team executes small steps to fix any errors and improve our craft. As far as lessons learned, on a surface level we have grown into a well-oiled machine, with everyone doing the best at what they do! Communication is key to any line of work, and that is no different at Edoko Omakase. In this past year, we have learned how to best optimize an array of aspects: proper task management among team members, optimal maintenance of machinery — the list goes on! However, aside from surface-level development, I think we have come a long way on a deeper level. I am especially pleased with the way we have learned to balance all-out effort, but in a manner that allows us to take care of ourselves, too. Again, communication plays a pivotal role here, and as a team, we have developed trust in each other. We all know our strengths and weaknesses, and in that way we work together to best serve our guests. The world must know that our guests are our family! We aspire for all to come inside Edoko Omakase and feel the most welcomed. Not only that, this atmosphere we seek to create makes us even more eager to bring the best of Japan to our Edoko family. Our desire to bring Dallas closer to the ocean starts with everyone who dines with us at Edoko. We are blessed for our guests and we hope we can continue serving our community for a long time.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
While it is enticing to think of the center of Dallas — Downtown — when one thinks of this city, I am a loyal supporter of its many suburbs. These areas surprise me with their hidden treasures and, if I were to show my best friend around, I would first think of Las Colinas. Downtown Las Colinas has grown tremendously in the past several years and I think its best colors are just beginning to show. As a resident of Irving, I am very drawn to the Toyota Music Factory because I don’t think there is anything quite like it in this city. There, one can make their way to the Mandalay Canal, which gives off its own charm, whether for a weekend night out or a morning jog. However, not too far from Las Colinas is The Sound, in the relatively new Cypress Waters neighborhood. I think incorporating a community around the lake there was a nice touch, and the lakeside eateries are must-haves on this to-do list. Plus, there are plenty of unique, interesting areas there to stroll, relax, and even listen to live music! You can bring your dog, too, because the space is very pet-friendly. Dallas may not have a designated area called “Koreatown” but I’d say Carrollton makes up for that. There you’ll find some trendy Korean and Korean-American cuisine that you may be hard-pressed to find anywhere in the metroplex — or even the entire country! Korean Street Eats is my personal favorite; I have always craved Korean street food here in Texas, and this place really fills that demand. But in all, the area as a whole seems to grow very fast and it should be no surprise as to why that is!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I dedicate my shoutout to my staff. I would especially like to shine light on our back of house team for all of their care and effort in making our dishes possible. Their hard work is often hidden from view, but our behind-the-scenes staff members play a critical role in leaving our guests satisfied. I want to share with everyone the countless hours these chefs and specialists devote into ensuring that our food is appreciated, enjoyed, and remembered. In addition, I dedicate my shoutout to the front of house team. I applaud their infectious enthusiasm, whether it be toward creating uniqueness and delicacy in their dishes or toward ensuring our guests feel at home. Because they are the first professionals that people will see as they enter Edoko, the front of house members take great pride in being the first to represent our restaurant. The combination of knowledge, expertise, and excitement that these professionals bring exceeds my standards, and I feel confident in leaving our guests at their service. The passion and sense of duty these chefs, specialists, and servers bring to the dining area or the kitchen cannot make me more appreciative. Simply put, these men and women earn my praise and I am continually inspired by their discipline, eagerness, work ethic, and support.