33 user 19 critic

East Side Sushi (2014)

PG | | Drama | 18 September 2015 (USA)
1:59 | Trailer

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Single mom Juana can slice and dice anything with great speed and precision. After working at a fruit-vending cart for years, she decides to take a job at a local Japanese restaurant. ... See full summary »


Anthony Lucero


Anthony Lucero
11 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Diana Elizabeth Torres ... Juana
Yutaka Takeuchi ... Aki
Rodrigo Duarte Clark Rodrigo Duarte Clark ... Apa
Kaya Jade Aguirre Kaya Jade Aguirre ... Lydia
Roji Oyama Roji Oyama ... Mr. Yoshida
Miyoko Sakatani ... Mrs. Yoshida
Lane Nishikawa Lane Nishikawa ... Jimmy Nishida
Melissa Locsin Melissa Locsin ... TV Show Coordinator
James J. Der Jr. ... Kyung
Bartholomew Wang ... Robert
Edwin Li Edwin Li ... Billy
Jesus Fuentes Jesus Fuentes ... Victor
Kathleen Park Kathleen Park ... Waitress #1
Sara Matsui-Colby ... Waitress #2
Tomoharu Nakamura Tomoharu Nakamura ... Hitoshi Watanabe


Single mom Juana can slice and dice anything with great speed and precision. After working at a fruit-vending cart for years, she decides to take a job at a local Japanese restaurant. Intrigued by the food, she learns to make a multitude of sushi on her own. Eventually she attempts to become a sushi chef, but is unable to because she is the 'wrong' race and gender. Against all odds, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery, determined to not let anyone stop her from achieving her dream. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Where East Oakland meets the Far East See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief violence, suggestive content and mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »




English | Spanish

Release Date:

18 September 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A sushi árnyékos oldalán See more »

Filming Locations:

Oakland, California, USA


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Color (Fujicolor)| Color
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Did You Know?


Diana Elizabeth Torres took knife training classes in order to do her own quick knife slicing. See more »


Aki: [showing the octopus] Tako.
Juana: Ah... like a taco?
[gesturing for the mexican cuisine]
Aki: Yeah, I guess so.
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Love Again (Amar de Nuevo)
Written and produced by Alex Mandel
Performed by CAVA & Alex Mandel
See more »

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User Reviews

Beautiful inspiring film! REAL LIFE heart! Also bringing two unique cultures together...
16 May 2016 | by pinokiyoSee all my reviews

Hollywood can't make this kind of Gold.

I used to work at a sushi restaurant and the little things in the script is so hilariously true to life... right to the type of customers, the whole having to master cutting cucumber, getting mad at ordering teriyaki at a sushi bar... looking stuff up on craigslist -- the little things! (The only thing I found to be a little unrealistic was how the restaurant getting together during their lunch break(?) feeding their staff nice sushi and rolls... well, I guess they really are a nice restaurant and not stingy to their workers! What luxury...)

The main lead, Juana, is beautiful!! She sort of reminds me of a young Salma Hayek, but cuter. She's great!

The main lead's father deserves Best Supporting Actor award; his delivery and reactions are so natural and hilarious... he's immediately very likable.

Aki, the Japanese chef, (and they actually got a real Japanese guy!) is good too.

Just great casting overall - very very likable cast, even the young daughter. ('There's a Chinese man at the front door.' haha)

I love the scene with the main lead and the chef having sake together; great script-writing. To me, that scene was touching (got me teary) and hilarious at the same time bringing up the issue about being a woman and races. (soo funny and true about assistant chefs being Chinese and Korean... 'he smells like ashtray!' haha Koreans love to smoke)

I love how they intertwine Mexican and Japanese culture together. Very very cool. I really enjoyed it and was engaged the whole time; it went by really fast.

If you work at a sushi restaurant/love sushi/like Mexican/Japanese cultures, or just want a movie to inspire to go after your dreams, watch it. You'll love it.

It's funny, cute, touching film that you can enjoy multiple times.

It's not a big budget movie and perhaps may have a little high quality TV-Movie feel, but who cares. These are the types of movies that's worth watching; real-life conversations and stories people can relate and be inspired to.

Highly recommend! It has become one of my favorite movies.

One funny goof I noticed... when the chef asks the girl to help him out with the phone orders, she puts it on regular plates instead of a to-go box. xD

Oh and when Mr. Yoshida was cutting the cucumber "art" and the customers respond in amazement/kind of sucking up to the chef is sooo funny - that really happens in real life... it's also funny because that cucumber didn't even look amazing at all. What the hell was that? Haha

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