Zuma By Chef Ninja, A Japanese/Latin Fusion Restaurant, is Now Open

Chef Mitsuhisa Nishio, or “Michu” to his family members and friends and Chef Ninja to many of his followers across social media, is opening Zuma By Chef Ninja in the space that was previously home to Brickside at 4866 Cordell Ave in Bethesda. The restaurant opened on October 6th and has been sharing posts on social media of dishes being enjoyed by various diners.

About “Michu”/Chef NinjaMitsuhisa Nishio, better known to the public as “El Ninja”, is a world-renowned chef who specializes in Asian-Latin fusion cuisine. Despite being of full Japanese descent, Chef Ninja was born and raised in Constanza – a lovely town in the Dominican Republic. There is no doubt that Ninja takes pride in both of his co-cultures. This sense of pride is displayed through his art where he fuses traditional Japanese foods with the savory, full of taste ingredients of Dominican cuisine. Although the food of said cultures are so different, Chef Ninja has found a way to perfectly bridge the gap between his two nationalities through his eccentric dishes. What’s more Japanese-Dominican than a sushi roll with sweet plantains placed on top?

When living in Constanza, Ninja’s mother taught him how to make a variety of traditional Japanese dishes. He learned much of what he knows about Japanese cuisine by cooking those same home made meals for his friends growing up. His culinary career officially began in New York when he was given the opportunity to create a menu for an Asian Latin bar and run the kitchen in 2003. As the years went on, Nishio continued to establish his name and food in the tri-state area; working for restaurants such as Mama Sushi, TAO, and Sushi Mambo to name a few. Fast forward to now, and everyone in New York knows about Ninja’s famous “Sushi Aplatanao”.

After making a name for himself and leaving his mark on New York, Chef Ninja relocated to Miami for a few years where he created menus for a few businesses. During this time, the chef started attracting an incredible amount of virality and buzz on social media.  It is one thing for the people to love your food. It’s another for them to love you. Ninja’s charisma and persona won over the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people all over the world; garnering over 100,000 followers on Instagram in the span of a few months and millions of views on videos on YouTube and Facebook. He ultimately ended up moving back to NYC and in 2018 he set out on his “No Bulto” Tour. Ninja and his staff hit the road, taking his menu to food lovers all over the USA. North Carolina, California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Philadelphia, just to name a few.

Despite not attending culinary school for his craft, Chef Ninja has elevated to heights that only few other chefs have reached. Not only has he established himself in his city of New York as “El Rey del Sushi Aplatanao” but he has also sold out venues city after city, month after month. He has been invited by Yankee Stadium to be their guest chef has also done private events for the likes of artists such as Bad Bunny, Anuel AA, Farruko and Ivy Queen. 

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Karen joined the Well-Paid Maids team as a cleaner in January 2021, and she was recently promoted to an operations manager! This well-deserved promotion is part of Well-Paid Maids' effort to deliver better customer service with responses to phone calls and emails seven days a week. To celebrate Karen's promotion, we caught up with her to learn more about her time at Well-Paid Maids, the area's only certified living-wage cleaning company.

 1. Why Well-Paid Maids?

Karen: I saw the company was paying a living wage and had great benefits. Also, they were very flexible with my schedule, especially since I have kids.

 2. How has it been working at Well-Paid Maids?

Karen: I feel very appreciated at the company. This is the first job where I feel I'm able to speak about any issue and that management will support me.

 3. How has working at Well-Paid Maids benefitted you?

Karen: Because Well-Paid Maids pays a living wage, I can now spend more time with my kids and not work double shifts like I did at my old job.

 4. How do you plan to spend your PTO this year?

Karen: I look forward to traveling to El Salvador to visit my family there.

 5. How would you describe Well-Paid Maids as an employer in three words?

Appreciated, valued and opportunity

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Washington City Paper is hosting its annual Best of D.C. contest -- and Well-Paid Maids is eyeing the Best Maid Service category. If you missed it: Well-Paid Maids has secured first place for the past three years. Can you help us snag gold again? Simply go to the ballot and write in your vote for the best maid service. In case you need a refresher before you vote, Well-Paid Maids is the only certified living-wage cleaning company in the D.C. area. We pay our cleaners, who are W-2 employees, at least $24 an hour and offer benefits like insurance, 24 paid days off per year and more. Voting is open until June 10 at 5 p.m., and the winner will be announced July 18. (We'll keep you posted!) Thank you for your support -- and if you still haven't booked a spring cleaning yet, now is the time!

Submit your own Announcement here.

Movie being filmed in McLean, VA, needs your support

A local community movie is filming in our area in June and needs contributions!

Local actors, teens, teachers, housewives, and retired residences are trying to make this film happen but we need your help.

This is an educational short story about teens learning how to navigate when they don't feel accepted by their friends and what to do to find acceptance. Yet this film isn't just for teens. In your life have you ever felt like you weren't accepted??

Come be a part of the audience for this film! Invite your friends. Be a part of this film being produced right here in our area.

This is a social impact film that will show locally and internationally at film festivals in 2025 and also at colleges.

More information can be found here. DONATE TODAY:



This is a not-for-profit film and donations are tax-deductible.

Free Community Father-Daughter Dance

Fathers and father figures, create unforgettable memories with your daughter at our free community father-daughter dance on June 1st, from 6-8 pm. Hosted outdoors at Olney Baptist Church. This event offers a delightful outdoor experience complete with a DJ spinning tunes, interactive games, a charming photo booth, delicious treats, and exciting raffle prizes. Fathers/father figures and daughters of all ages are warmly welcomed to share in this special evening together. Join us for an evening of joy, laughter, and cherished moments!

In the spirit of giving back to our community, we are partnering with Quest to Feed Montgomery to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need. We kindly ask each attendee to bring along a non-perishable food item to donate during the event. Every contribution, no matter how small, will go a long way in supporting families facing food insecurity in our area.


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