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September 25
1970 - Lagasse family helps save Mentryville buildings as Newhall and Malibu brush fires erupt & join into worst fire in SoCal history. Twelve fires over 10 days burn 525,000 acres, kill 13 people and destroy approx. 1,500 structures. [story]


Maru, the upscale Asian fusion sushi restaurant on Town Center Drive, will shuts its doors Dec. 12 after more than 11 years in Valencia, owner Jason Park said.

“After months of trying to negotiate a lower lease with Westfield, we were refused for a final time,” Park said in an e-mail.

Park said customers should hurry and make reservations, “as I am sure we will be very busy.”

His e-mail signaled the end of his Valencia business but suggested new opportunities might be around the corner.

“We are looking for a few more investors to complete funding for the next project,” Park said.

 

Jason Park’s bio from Maru’s website

From earliest childhood, Jason Park was exposed to creativity as well as quality in cuisine. After graduating college in Japan, his grandmother returned to her native Korea and created her own skillful mix of the two cooking styles, mingling the delicate flavors of Japanese with the bolder Korean cuisine. These highly individual recipes along with her techniques for preparing them were passed along to Jason’s mother as well as the great emphasis she placed on the importance of being clean and organized in food preparation and cooking. The food was always served as exquisitely as it was prepared, and Jason will smile as he tells you that no one ever refused his mother’s invitation.

It was in this home that Jason’s dreams of becoming a Chef were first nurtured. While encouraging him to develop his already sensitive palate, his mother taught him techniques of food preparation and cooking that instilled in him the importance of maintaining integrity in all that he did in the kitchen. Observant and highly motivated, he avidly watched cooking shows like Great Chefs of the World and Yan Can Cook and learned from them. From these early beginnings, a life-long love of fine cuisine was born.

Jason briefly turned his back on his love for cooking to pursue his other passion, the sciences, as a Biology major at UCLA. But after two years of hard effort at his studies he had decided to work with his hands. At the beginning of his third year, Jason decided to change his major to Psychology and also entered the Culinary Arts Program offered through the University’s Extension Program. He would become a Chef. After making this decision and graduating from the program he further honed his chef skills at various fine dining restaurants in the Los Angeles area as well as performing a stage at Ka Gai Ro, a Kaiseki restaurant in Osaka.

The validation of his life’s dream has been the tremendous success and critical favor that his restaurant, Maru, has enjoyed since its doors opened in 2001. Jason Park has never had to look back in his eleven years as a restaurateur.

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4 Comments

  1. Kevitivity says:

    Maru is easily on of the best restaurants in Vallencia. I kind of think this establishment is making the right move by getting out of the mall.

  2. RH says:

    Good Riddance, horrible service and over priced food.

  3. TAC says:

    wow – i just posted about westfield bringing in walmart grocery to the patios and now this? i agree, maru was one of the top, best local restaurants in valencia. shame on westfield for allowing them to leave. and add one more vacant space to the pathetic town center. obviously, maru had a ten year lease. i am not sure how the relationship between the city and westfiled is supposed to be, and or how permits and stuff work, but the city should begin flexing its muscle and work on bringing local shops and eateries (local) to the lame town center drive. it’s an eye sore of vacancies and miss-matched stores. i hold the city responsible. i hope they are working with maru to find them a better solution. if you sell out to national chains and to a foreign owned company (westfield) what’s the purpose of taking pride in your community? keep in mind that the ONE national eatery that should have been brought into the patios/town center was cheesecake factory, but they will not come to valencia. ask your self why not? there are plenty of reasons.

  4. BB says:

    Westfield has its priorities all wrong. They were so hard headed in not negotiating to keep Maru that they’ve created a revolving door at that location. Thelma & Luis has now closed and I’m certain that they’ll bring in some other poor excuse for a restaurant to replace it.

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