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Auburn sees changes in local restaurants

By: Gloria Young Journal Staff Writer
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A popular North Auburn sushi restaurant has moved to a bigger building, a South Auburn eatery has changed its name and Downtown has lost a once-popular longtime deli. Hapa Sushi Hapa Sushi, which opened in the Rock Creek Plaza center in 2006, was bursting out its seams, said Richard Fiedler, who owns the business with his wife, Vanessa. “With 30 seats, you need to be packed from open to close all day long,” he said. The new location, formerly the Spice of India restaurant, more than doubles capacity to 85 seats. The Fiedlers, who retained the same staff, have expanded the menu to include more burgers and desserts , he said. Vanessa Fiedler has been a sushi chef for more than 26 years, starting as a teen in a Santa Cruz eatery. Two the menu favorites are the Tsunami Roll and the Hapa Popper. “The Tsunami roll is spicy tuna and shrimp on the inside and on the outside — avocado, salmon and three of our sauces and crunchies,” Richard Fiedler said. “ The Hapa Popper is spicy tuna, cream cheese and jalapeno tempura’ed and topped with three sauces, macadamia nuts and green onions. These are things we came up with, using creativity and just trying things here and there.” He attributes the success of the business to using quality ingredients. “It is a mom and pop, hand-made with fresh sauces and things are made from scratch,” he said. “You just can’t beat things made from scratch.” Prior to the move, Fiedler did some remodeling to the new site, redoing the floors and carpet, and tearing down a wall to open up a dance floor. Now the restaurant brings in live music a couple of times a month, he said. Front Door Café At the newly named Front Door Café, owner Melissa Jarrette said the change is part of putting her own stamp on the eatery. When she took over South Pine Cafe a year and a half ago, it was associated with the South Pine Cafes in Nevada City and Grass Valley. Jarrette is still in the process of getting the new name on signs and menus, but plans to have the changeover completed by March, she said. But the staff and menu are the same. “We’ve made a couple of changes,” Jarrette said. “We’re open earlier now. And we’re open three days a week —Thursday, Friday and Saturday — for dinner.” The eatery has something for everyone, with vegetarian and vegan plates, including veggie bacon and tofu, as well as meat-eaters’ favorites such as skirt steak, carne asada and surf and turf, she said. “We make everything from scratch,” she said. A Town Deli A Town Deli, which was an Auburn Journal Best of the Best several times, including in 2008, closed over the weekend. Building owner Billy Prior said the closure was unexpected. “We didn’t even know they were moving out,” he said. “The next thing I knew, someone was in there who said he had loaned money against the equipment and he took it. ... The same guy took the light fixtures and ceiling fans, (which belong) to the building.” But Prior said he is already seeing a lot of interest in the space “One person looked at it for a coffee house, another for a pizza place and another for a deli,” he said. Prior said it is a sublease opportunity with two years left on the contract at the rate of $68.46 a day. The building, which includes two dining areas and a kitchen, is at 780 Lincoln Way. A-Town Deli owners Linda and David Dorf could not be reached for comment. ------------ • Hapa Sushi, 1285 Grass Valley Highway, Fiddler Green Plaza, phone (530) 823-8700; open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday • Front Side Café, 660 Auburn Folsom Road, South Auburn, phone (530) 745-0262, open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday