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Picking up ‘sticks

Sushi creates dining experience for all senses
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Foothills Magazine
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Never underestimate the power of raw fish. While the components of a sushi roll — fish, rice, seaweed — might seem pretty standard, and downright strange to some diners, anyone working or dining at one of the foothills’ many sushi restaurants will tell you picking up a pair of chopsticks is so much more special than that. “It’s not just someone cutting fish,” said Katie Williams, a server at Auburn’s Ninja Sushi. “There’s an art to it, presentation.” Sushi bars allow diners to get face-to-fish with their meal. “It’s also special because you get to see someone make your meal right in front of you,” Williams said. “It’s almost like you’re taking a class by watching them. People will come in and say they tried to make sushi at home (after watching the sushi chef).” Jesse Petersen is a sushi chef at Hapa Sushi in Auburn. He has been a sushi chef for more than three years, and says there’s a lot to love about it. “I think the best thing about it is the wonderful flavors,” he said. “Each ingredient affects the other ingredients, so part of the learning experience is discovering what tastes work together. There’s a lot of room for interpretation and experimentation.” From a chef’s perspective, it’s fun to experiment with different flavor combinations. “I really like taking ingredients — basil, lemon, mango, Macadamia nuts — that wouldn’t be traditional, and see what kinds of flavors you can create,” he said. What makes sushi fun is that diners can play it safe or they can take a leap and try something completely new from a seemingly endless list of possibilities, Petersen said. “It’s pretty limitless,” he said. “Somebody could come here 100 times and have 100 different things. It’s an event more than anything else. It’s a treat more than going for a typical meal.” __________ Five to try Hanami Sushi, 944 Lincoln Way, Auburn, (530) 889-8006 Ninja Sushi, 770 Lincoln Way, Auburn, (530) 887-1243 Hapa Sushi, 2985 Bell Road, Auburn, (530) 823-9800 Sushi Unlimited, 9600 Fairway Drive, No. 100, Roseville, (916) 791-5005 Mikuni, 1565 Eureka Road 1A, Roseville, (916) 797-2112