When I headed out for lunch today I was intending on grabbing some Chinese take-out at Golden City Chinese Restaurant, and maybe pick up some cookies for dessert at Cookie Connection. Unfortunately both were closed! Next I thought I’d go to Five Guys Burgers and Fries, but they were packed, so I finally settled on Sumo Sushi which is located on Douglas at Sierra College between River City Bank and Chipotle.
As I walked in I realized this was the same space that Pickup Stix used to be in, and I immediately missed that restaurant. Not much has changed in the layout. The counter has become a sushi bar with a few tall seats and the soda machine is still in the same spot, though it is no longer self serve. Even at 12:30 I was the only customer. I picked a table that had booth seating on the wall side so I could see the whole place. My server gave me a menu and took my drink order, a Dr Pepper.
Since my visit to Sushi House about a month ago I’ve gone out for sushi quite often and now have a pretty good idea of what I like. I’ve been ordering sashimi and nigiri combos mostly, and my last time out I tried temaki (a cone shaped hand roll). Today I was feeling like a Fair Oaks roll (deef fried shrimp, avocado, special sauce and tobiko). I had a ridiculously good one at the Mikuni in midtown a while back which was stacked with avocado. I also got a order of sake(salmon) nigiri and unagi(fresh water eel) temaki.
They didn’t serve an appetizer, such as miso soup or edamame, as almost all the other sushi joints do. I didn’t order any, so I worked on getting my dining room picture taken. I used several photos which I stitched together. Right as I snapped the last one the server asked what I was doing. It was the first time anyone has ever asked about me photographing something other than what was on my table. She didn’t ask me to stop, but I think based on her tone that she might have if I continued. Luckily I already had what I wanted so I told her they had a nice place and set my camera down.
It was probably a little under 10 minutes for my food to start coming out. A large plate with the Fair Oaks roll and unagi temaki showed up first, and a smaller one with the sake nigiri followed a few minutes later. The presentation was great, though I’ve never really seen anything less elsewhere. I was slightly disappointed with the amount of avocado on the Fair Oaks roll, but I probably just got a crazy amount on that one from Mikuni and expected too much. It was still a very good roll, the shrimp was crunchy from end to end.
The unagi temaki handroll was good, but the one I had at Sensei Sushi in Rancho Cordova was killer. This one was just the unagi with rice, and the nori (the seaweed wrapper) was soft and difficult to bite through. The one from Sensei had dry and crispy nori (not too crispy though, it held together well), which made eating it a lot easier, and also included avocado and a couple small veggies which added some nice variety in texture. The sake nigiri was sliced large and tasted great, I have yet to have bad salmon anywhere. It was rich, buttery and almost melts in your mouth.
I was pretty happy overall with this lunch. The prices were reasonable, though I do wish they served some edamame or miso soup with your order. Also, they could learn a little something from Sensei Sushi when it comes to filling their handrolls. Other than those little things, Sumo Sushi is a good little location and worth a visit. I’d give them a 4 of 5.