Woman Entrepreneur Pioneers Shabu-Shabu in Orange County

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Kristina Ly, CEO and founder of SLICE Shabu migrated to the United States from a young age with passion, drive, and dedication accomplished her life long dream of opening her own Shabu restaurant.


SLICE Shabu honors CEO and founder Kristina Ly for her achievements as a woman entrepreneur. Passion, drive, dedication, and visionary – these are the words that best describe Kristina and her accomplishments. Coming from a humble upbringing in Vietnam and migrating to the United States at a young age with her family to seek a better life, Kristina was one of the first few restaurant owners to make way for the Japanese hot pot scene here in Orange County. Her drive for success can be seen in the SLICE brand expanding
to five locations, and along with that, two DICE Poke restaurants.

Kristina’s entrepreneurial spirit started at the young age of 8. She always knew she was destined for a bigger role in life, but that she would not be able to fulfill that role living in Vietnam. At the age of 10, she confided in her father and told him she wanted to leave for America, and together with her younger siblings, the family fled from Vietnam. Coming to America meant being free of the communist regime, and the freedom to pursue her ambitions without fear. With their newfound freedom also came the uncertainty of starting over with little money in Orange County. However, her self-driven attitude pushed Kristina to work hard and dedicate herself in her educational endeavors which led to her attainment of a Business Degree with a concentration in Management Information Systems from California State University, Fullerton. She was finally moving towards the success she worked so hard for.

After receiving her degree, Kristina found success early in her career, but she still felt she had more potential. She wanted to share her passion of food by becoming a restaurant owner. Thus, Sakura Shabu-Shabu was born. Sakura was one of the first few Shabu restaurants in the Orange County area and it allowed Kristina to share her passion for the Japanese cuisine. Nine years later, Kristina added four more locations across Orange County and rebranded to SLICE Shabu. The rebranding was made to appeal to a broader market, welcoming new and returning guests, but the essence and mission of sharing traditional hot-pot cuisine remained the same.

Kristina has now embarked on a new way to bring the flavors of Shabu to the homes of her guests. She has crafted a unique take-out box for Shabu that is currently being piloted at the Huntington Beach location. By creating this box and partnering with online delivery services such as Amazon, grubHub, and Doordash, guests can now enjoy SLICE Shabu in the comfort of their home. Once again, Kristina has paved the way for Shabu-Shabu.

The years leading up to her success tells a familiar story experienced by many immigrant families that come to America to pursue a better life. Kristina takes great pride in her story and where she comes from, and now uses her businesses to help give back to her community and create opportunities for those who may need a helping hand. From volunteering for local charities, to supplying daily rides for employees who have no means of transportation, she is the embodiment of a caring business owner who wants others to succeed just as she was able to in her life.

Visit SLICE Shabu locations in Huntington Beach, Lake Forest, Fullerton, Anaheim, and Mission Viejo.

DICE Poke locations are found in Lake Forest and Mission Viejo.

SLICE is a Japanese restaurant in Orange County, where you can find a mixture of quality and healthy food. Enjoy the rich taste of delicately sliced beef, fresh seafood and vegetables, dipped in one of our special sauces. Equipped with a full lounge and bar, Slice offers a great atmosphere for diners who enjoy the sweet taste of sake and cocktails in our warm, private balcony. For more information, please visit SLICE Shabu’s website.

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