The Grouchy Chef

Canoeing with the girls on Penn Cove

THE GROUCHY CHEF: There’s a chef in Mukilteo, a Mr. Masumoto, a real life version of the Soup Nazi of Seinfeld fame. The guy loves food and hates

Mom & Ava


mankind. Or does he? A while ago my wife and I decided to try him out.

From the Seattle Times:While this guy makes the Iron Chef look lighthearted, you’ve got to hand it to him. He’s proud enough of his social defect to design his logo around it (tall toque, big frown), put his crotchety motto on his business card (“What you see is what you get!”) and trumpet the grouch factor on bold red signage (“Grouchy Chef, Eat In or Take Out”). But lest you think he’s the Shogun of Schtick, think again: Masumoto means business, and he’s quick to point out that he doesn’t need yours.”

Three Girls in the Kitchen

The Grouchy Chef restaurant had signs in rudimentary English, “No picture no photo no camera!” “I learn very hard to speak English. You make fun my English we talk in my language. We see how good your Japanese.” “I only buy fresh vegetable, meat, and fruit to make good dish. No Costco food!”

Grouchy in my "Grouchy Chef" T-shirt

I noticed these black “Grouchy Chef” T-Shirts, I wanted one, but noticed a sign: T-Shirts Not for Sale! I went to the counter; told Mr. Masumoto that I’d like to pay for the shirt. He said, “Shirt not for sale!” I said, “C’mon.” He said, “Not for sale! Read sign!”

At this moment a customer leant over and whispered, “Take one, they’re free.” And so I did. Mr. Masumoto just ignored me and kept his eyes on the knife.

Kaya Loves Her Guacamole

The menu was European cousine, schnitzel, salmon, rice pilaf, salad with strawberries and gorgonzola, very simple, refreshingly few selections for entrees (a good thing), and all satisfactory. My wife and I ordered and sat. Then this young man and his female companion stood up to leave and pay.

I'm a Happy Chef

As the man waited he started taking pictures of the signs on the wall. Mistake. Mr. Masimoto said, “You read sign? No photo!” The young man shrugged and smirked, and then handed over his money. Mr. Masimoto took the bills and threw them back. “Get out! I don’t want your money. You get out!” Terry, my wife, said, “I’m scared.”

Ava's Last Day of School

Other signs, though, said that Mr. Masimoto and his family came to America, and that he is proud to be an American. He works hard, and prepares the best food he can. Military personnel who show an I.D. card will get a free meal. My wife and I had a tasty meal and an entertaining experience, although it’s not the place to relax with children. Bottom line: Good and inexpensive food. A rare combo. Ambience on the eccentric side, but nothing wrong with that.

JOKE TIME: What do you call a man who hates giving women backrubs? 

A Massage-ynist.

Artwork of the Month: Another painting by my mother –


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3 responses to “The Grouchy Chef

  1. David Powell

    The painting is titled “Chinese Kites in Belleville” and was painted in Paris, France on 19 November 2009. Belleville is in the 19th and 20th Arondissements and is a poor, lower class section of the city, far from the tourist throngs, with a diverse population – Chinese, Tunisians, Moroccans, Algerians, Jews, and Black Africans from former French colonies. And yes, a few French natives live the area also. We spent most of our time there when we were in Paris and it gives us great pleasure to view these paintings and think of the many happy times we spent there.

  2. Rietje Knapton

    I just ate there last night. It was a 4 course meal and I had duck breast. The food was amazing, the salad, soup, entree and desert for $24.00 plus tax. I have not had duck breast this good for 24 years. It is very hard to find a good restaurant, period. I am going back in a couple of weeks, yum!
    The Chef has rules and he is quiet, which is very Japanese and I like it.

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