Right off the bat I’m going to say that Blue Nami is my favorite sushi place in Roseville. Mikuni is right up there, but whenever I think about sushi I almost always first think of (and go to) Blue Nami. This post has been one in the making for a while. Almost 10 months ago I went there for this post but got busy and never got around to writing it up. I went again today with a couple of friends so I could finally officially cross it off the list. These photos are from both visits.
Today I arrived at about 12PM to a mostly empty Blue Nami. My friends Anne & Justin were already seated and snacking on complimentary edamame. A vegetable tempura appetizer was already ordered on on the way. I’ve often heard comments that say Blue Nami and Mikuni are overpriced and you’re paying for ambiance rather than the food. That’s probably partially true, but I like the ambiance so I don’t mind. On one end there is a large water feature that spans most of the wall which I enjoy sitting near. This isn’t to say that the sushi is lacking in quality, on the contrary I would argue that it’s some of the better and more consistent sushi we have in the area.
The seating is about the only thing I would mention as needing improvement. The tables and chairs are large, heavy and bulky wooden things. The seats themselves are flat and uncomfortable. I was barely able to sqeeze between several seats to get to mine which was right in the middle on the inside of a group of four 4-person tables. If they had been occupied I probably would have had to ask someone to get up.
I opened up the heavy, leather bound menu, more to confirm what I was already planning on ordering than to make a decision. I went with Sushi Combo C (soup, salad, 5x nigiri, 4x sashimi & 1 roll from the premium “sushi wave” list). This is a pricey but delicious combo that has a little bit of everything. I wasn’t seated long before the waitress came by to get my drink and the rest of our orders. The vegetable tempura appetizer came out while she was taking the orders. I recall there being carrot, onion, broccoli, zucchini and maybe one to two others. I don’t know what the dipping sauce is, but it’s light and tasty.
We were just about finished with that when my salad and soup arrived. The miso soup was steaming like crazy to I set that aside and focused on the salad. The sweet and creamy dressing was quite heavy this time. I’ve never seen them put this much on it before. It was almost boarding on too much, if there is such a thing with this awesome dressing. The salad is mostly crisp lettuce with bits of carrot slivers and thin sliced cucumbers. The soup was good as usual, maybe a bit on the salty side. I was just finishing this up when everything else started arriving and filling up the table.
Anne & Justin had a Yummi Yummi roll (deep fried shrimp, crab, avocado, cream cheese & tobiko), a Philadelphia roll (spicy salmon, avocado & cream cheese) and a deep fried one which I’m not sure about. Justin, in typical Justin fashion, inhaled the Yummi Yummi in minutes and seemed quite pleased with it.
My combo included a pretty typical assortment of fish – salmon, tuna, white tuna, yellowtail and a white fish that I can never remember the name of. In addition there was also one shrimp with the nigiri. I have previously ordered the Golden Gate roll (deep fried shrimp, cream cheese, lemon, cilantro, avocado, salmon, crab, orange tabiko and wasabi tabiko) which is a pretty amazing roll with a lot going on in it. This time I tried the Blue Nami roll (soft shell crap, eel, cream cheese, cashew, avocado, scallop, tuna, yellowtail & fish flakes).
The sashimi and nigiri was pretty good overall. I like fish that is chilled but these were closer to room temperature. There doesn’t seem to be any kind of consensus online as to which is more appropriate, but I definitely prefer colder. I find that I usually get it that way if I sit at the sushi bar. Things probably sit around longer when you’re at a table with others while everything else is made before being brought out all at once.
The roll was good, I liked the texture that the flakes added. Flavor-wise it wasn’t quite as busy as the Golden Gate but I think I would order it again. I may also see if I can substitute a less expensive normal roll, the Godzilla (salmon, scallop, asparagus, baked mozzarella sauce and tobiko) which is deep fried, creamy and really fantastic, probably my favorite roll which I’ve not been getting lately since I tend to get this combo that includes a roll from the sushi wave list.
We ordered a dessert which I’ve never done here, probably because I’m always too full to think about it, so I didn’t even know what the options would be. Of the few things available including mochi ice cream, green tea ice cream and green tea cheesecake, we went with the cheesecake. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I’ve had green tea ice cream and found it to be ok but not really my favorite thing. After a short while a long dish with four thin slices of green cheesecake drizzled with chocolate showed up. I was actually a bit impressed with the presentation, although I really shouldn’t be since it’s something that just about every sushi joint excels at. The cheesecake was very cold and nearly frozen. There was not actually much green tea flavor as I would have expected with the green coloring. It was definitely heavier in the cheesecake spectrum. I would totally order this again, both Anne and I were pleasantly surprised by this dessert.
This wasn’t my best visit, but even my worst was still a very good dining experience, I’ve never had a bad one here. The only thing I’ve ordered that I was disappointed in was uni (sea urchin), which I’ve heard lots of great things about when it’s fresh, but I don’t think it was that time. It tasted kind of like the underside of SF’s fisherman’s wharf smells, haha. I think I might try that again somewhere closer to the coast. Other than that, Blue Nami delivers consistently good, quality food with pretty good to great service on top. I think the best experience is had at the sushi bar, though that’s probably true most places.