Healthy Global Cuisine™
Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza opened its doors in 1989, in La Jolla, California. Sammy’s was the 1st restaurant concept in San Diego to introduce the woodfired oven to its guests. Since then, multiple locations of the well-respected Sammy’s restaurants have opened throughout California and Nevada. Eat well. Feel good.
Owner & Chief Executive Officer, Ladeki Restaurant Group
Following a passion and natural aptitude for the hospitality industry, Sami Ladeki attended the College of Hotel and Restaurant Management near Munich, Germany. After graduation, he spent a year at London’s Westbury Hotel and was then recruited by the Sonesta resort chain, which assigned him to the Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans’ French Quarter. After nearly a decade of management service at the 500-room property, he joined Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas to work as Food & Beverage Manager. After Las Vegas, he subsequently took on those responsibilities at the world-renowned Princess Hotel in Bermuda.
In 1983 Ladeki opened an upscale restaurant/nightclub in Houston, TX called La Cave de Rois, a hit among the fashionable elite. But Ladeki was destined to make his mark in Southern California, falling in love with San Diego on several visits, particularly the ocean-side community of La Jolla. In 1989 the enterprising hospitality specialist opened his first Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza in La Jolla, introducing San Diegans to the joy of pizza cooked in a wood-burning oven. It was an instant success and there are now 17 Sammy’s throughout California and Nevada. In the mid-’90s, Ladeki opened two Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza outlets in Tokyo, a decision that contributed to his interest in the Pacific Rim cuisine he would debut at his Roppongi concept several years later.
The remarkable success and growth of Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza gave the innovative restaurateur an opportunity to open several fine dining concepts within his company, the Ladeki Restaurant Group. In 1998, Ladeki opened Roppongi Restaurant & Sushi Bar in La Jolla, CA. Featuring Asian Fusion cuisine, it was an instant success with both the public and critics.
Ladeki is a prominent businessman and philanthropic leader in the greater San Diego area and a recipient of the prestigious Headliner Award, presented by the San Diego Press Club for recognition of outstanding achievement in the community. But the dynamic entrepreneur is not resting on his laurels. Instead, he is constantly redesigning restaurants, developing new menus and exploring inventive concepts. “Food is like fashion,” the legendary restaurateur asserts. “You shouldn’t sit still or you might find yourself out of style.”