John Cho


One day I woke up, and I wasn’t sure I could live anywhere else—in part because I couldn’t give up L.A. sushi. The sushi culture here kind of mimics the immigration patterns to L.A. Take Koreans. The generations that immigrated here in the ’70s and ’80s are more Korean than Koreans are. They carried this culture and preserved it in a jar in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, back in Korea, the culture did what it does: It evolved. You go back to Korea, and it’s culture shock. So bizarrely enough, this snapshot of Korean culture only exists in America. I feel like a similar thing happened with sushi. It soared to new heights in this city. Nobu Matsuhisa came here and experimented with garlic. The Japanese don’t use garlic or chilis. And then that was exported back to Japan. It’s like a cultural exchange program. » Cho, 38, stars in the Harold & Kumar films. Born in Seoul, he graduated from Hoover High in Glendale.