Friday, January 22, 2010

Looking for that 'drop in' sushi place in Sacramento

Being new to Sacramento, I've been spending my time trying to find stand-by favorites like the Friday night pizza place, a local wine bar, a great place to run...and of course, that sushi restaurant where you can just drop in and relax.

I may not have found any of the other things yet, but I have found my sushi place. It's Ju Hachi by Taka on 1730 S Street, because how can you not love a sushi place that has an all-day Happy Hour every day of the week? You can get a big bowl of sesame chicken for $3 (see picture below) or tempura veggies and shrimp for $4. Plus the food is fresh and I'm all about fresh when it comes to sushi because I like the raw stuff AND I like my ahi to melt in my mouth.

The daily Happy Hour specials don't really change that much -- I've been there a few times and there is always the sesame chicken, the California roll and the tempura, but what does change are the daily chef specials. Now I'm going to warn you. These specials are really good, but they are not as cheap as the Happy Hour deals. However, they are fabulous.

I've gotten the chef's sushi roll a couple of times. The combinations of what's inside the roll are a little bizarre. In fact, I've had one that was a mix of grilled vegetables, raw tuna and apple. But here's the thing - they are always good. Taka and Ed (the sushi chefs) will also make specials just for you depending on what you like or if you are vegetarian. But here's a hint: Have them make you something with scallops. Ed is a food-genius when it comes to scallops and will leaving you coming back for more.

But while I do love the food, what keeps me coming back again and again is the atmosphere at Ju Hachi. I'm always looking for that neighborhood bar where you can simply chill. Ju Hachi has that vibe -- and all the customers know it, so they are chilling too.

It's the Japanese version of "Cheers".