Mexican-Japanese 'Top Chef' opens upscale chophouse in Whittier

WHITTIER, Calif. (KABC) -- "My mom is Mexican, my dad is Japanese. I was raised in a household that tempura and tortillas were on the same table," Executive Chef Katsuji Tanabe said. "Where soy sauce and salsa were a marriage."

Born and raised in the heart of Mexico, Chef Tanabe has worked inside L.A.'s most acclaimed kitchens, from New York and Chicago to Vegas. He rose to fame when he appeared on Top Chef during season 12 in 2014. And now, with a handful of restaurants under his ownership in the country, he's opened Nixon Chops & Whiskey, an upscale steakhouse in the city of Whittier.

"It's fun dining, not fine dining," General Manager, Lucy Zuzuarregui said. "We try to create that L.A. vibe here for our guests that live here in the local area."

A fun atmosphere combined with delicious food has created a buzz in the small town of Whittier. Chef Tanabe says guests are thankful and excited about the rustic chophouse in the neighborhood.

Nixon Chops & Whiskey serves Mexican appetizers, like ceviche and chicharrones, but the main house specialties are the quality meats, like rib eye and porterhouse steaks.

Nixon also offers dish show stoppers like pig confit, a dish that takes about five days to cook and is served with tortillas so guests can make tacos or enjoy as they would a plate of carnitas.

Zuzuarregui hopes everyone who walks in hungry, walks out happy.
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