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Although Eastside Sushi is set and shot entirely in Oakland, this foodie fable is something Angelenos and fusion fans will find appetizing. Newcomer Diana Elizabeth Torres plays Juana, a working-class, single-mother, who is forced to give up her family’s fruit cart business after being robbed. Although Juana can slice and dice with the best Iron Chefs, she has been undervalued at the taquerias that she has toiled at. Eventually, she finds her true calling at an East Bay sushi restaurant where she endures tough love guidance from head chef Aki (Yutaka Takeuchi) and discovers a brand new culture, while overcoming racial and gender prejudices (along with corny Osaka-Horchata jokes) in her pursuit of becoming a sushi chef.

The trailer brings to mind feel-good, against all odd dramedy’s like Bend it Like Beckham with a sprinkle of Cinderella-fairy dust on top. The low-budget indie flick from first-time filmmaker Anthony Lucero, an East Bay native, literally returning to his roots after serving as a visual effects editor on Hollywood blockbusters, is coming off a successful festival run and has a limited theatrical release in SoCal.

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