#284: Tang’s Sushi

6PM, 10/19/2022
https://www.tangsushi.com

On Wednesday for dinner I headed over to give Tang’s Sushi, located at Blue Oaks & Foothills, another try (they were closed for lunch on my first attempt). I arrived just before 6PM. The dining room was pretty busy, and there were even a few people siting in the waiting area (some for take out, some for tables). They have a patio and it was actually quite nice outside, but I opted to sit inside since the sun was setting soon (not that it helped my photos, I’m not super proud of these ones 😐 ). Anyway, there happened to be a 2-top table available and I was seated immediately. The sushi bar was not set up for customers at the time.

I skimmed the menu and picked out my order, then checked out the interior while I awaited my server. The last time I was in this building was in 2014 when I visited Sakura Sushi for this blog, and my sushi chef at the time was, in fact, Tang himself! I looked up the dining room photo from that post to see what, if any, changes had been made since then. I couldn’t really notice anything different – from the color of the walls, the light fixtures, tables and chairs, art work and the neat river rock feature, encased in a metal frame that runs around the dining area – it was identical. In fact, the only major difference (other than the name on the building) was that the trees out front have grown so much in the last 8 years that I had to pick a different angle to snap from. The dining room photo above is actually that one from Sakura, as I forgot to shoot one on my way in/out this visit.

I placed my order for the Blossom Balls appetizer (Spicy Crab Wrapped with Salmon and Tuna Sashimi)[$14.95], the Small Sashimi Combo (10 pieces of Assorted Sashimi {Chef’s Choice})[$23.95] and the Super Fresh roll ({Tempura Asparagus, Spicy Crab Salad} Avocado, Tuna, Tempura Jalapeno, Unagi Sauce, Spicy Mayo)[$14.95] at 6:03. I skimed the beverages but opted to stick with water, on account of the impending cost of this meal and also having just come from donating blood. Five minutes after ordering, the soup and salad (included with the sashimi combo) arrived along with wasabi/ginger. The miso soup was steaming hot and the salad crisp and cold. The salad had that typical sweet, creamy dressing in just the right portion for this little bowl. Once I had finished that and the soup had cooled off a little bit I downed it in a few big gulps. It was very warming and a touch salty. Pretty standard so far.

All three items arrived together about fifteen minutes later. The sashimi and roll were served on a wooden board, something like 14×10″. I only mention the size because it looked like others had the same sized board. At this little table with my gear it took up a fair amount of space. There was quite a bit of empty space on it given my order, however the presentation was nice, something most sushi places excel at. I tried a little bit of everything on the first round and ended up saving all three remaining blossom balls for the end. The roll was straightforward and had just a tiny bit of spiciness to it. I always love a tempura asparagus and seek them out in rolls. This one was good but I wished the tempura batter was a little fuller/crunchier. There was a sprinkling of what sort of looked like crushed pistachios on top and around the roll, which I picked up with bites using the sticky rice to do so. I’m not sure if they were pistachios or not but they did add a nice little extra crunchy texture.

Moving on to the sashimi, I received (left to right, top to bottom) Tuna (bluefin perhaps?), Katsuo or Shiro Maguro (this one is totally a guess), Hamachi (yellowtail) and Sake (salmon). The tuna was the only one that I was not particularly crazy about, and I usually like tuna. It seemed a bit more limp and lacking flavor than I’m used to. The salmon, which is generally my favorite, had good texture but was lacking that buttery flavor I love. I think it was slightly leaner than typical salmon. The yellowtail and the other one were both excellent. All were enjoyed with a little dip in soy sauce.

This brings me to the Blossom Balls. These were unreal. The spicy crab mix actually had a noticeable kick to it. In addition to the crab and sashimi it was doused with an oily-looking sauce that I think really made this a home run, although I couldn’t tell you what it was! These were just a hell of a treat packed with flavor and almost melted in your mouth. I think I could live off of these alone. I was initially mildly annoyed that these came with my main dish(es) instead of ahead but ultimately happy that I was able to save the last three bites to be these. Highlight of the evening for sure.

I love that Tang had been at Sakura previously and has made the spot his own. It was good before, and while tonight wasn’t perfection, it was a good visit and a satisfying dinner. I was very pleased at being seated with zero wait and with how quick everything came out. Add another to the ever-growing list of solid sushi joints in Roseville.

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AM23: Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop

4:10PM, 5/27/2022
https://capriottis.com/

Although I recently learned this was a large nation-wide chain, anyone I’ve ever mentioned it to had not heard of it. This location, at Sierra College & Douglas, opened a little over 2 years ago. The next closest locations are in Reno, Carson City and Fresno. I was introduced to this chain by my friends in Vegas and it became a must-go spot for lunch any time I traveled there. I was ecstatic when I noticed the sign go up on the building in 2019. Anyway, although this is not unique to the area, I don’t think they are well-known to NorCal, which is a shame, so I figured it was worth doing a post on.

They offer a few traditional deli sub options like Italian, tuna & meatball subs and have a line of Wagyu cheesesteaks as well. The sandwiches that really stand out to me are The Bobbie and the Capastrami. These are the ones I was introduced to Cap’s on and regularly order to this day.

This location is situated in a row of excellent food options (Vampire Penguin, El Sombrero, Falafel Corner & Habit). I headed in just after 4PM and was greeted right away. I had already mentally picked out what I would order today. Looking at the menu I don’t see anything new. A year ago I noticed a sign advertising Flat Fries with a couple topping options (Capastrami or Cheese Steak). This day I decided I would finally check them out. They come in a regular ($6.69) or large ($8.69). I asked what the size difference was like and honestly did not get a good sense as he appeared to hold up two identical containers, though he did liken it to appetizer vs entree sizing. With that I got the regular size and added on a Half size Bobbie (Turkey, Cranberry Sauce, Stuffing & Mayo)[$6.49], because I can’t come here and not get a sandwich.

The Bobbie is offered in cold and hot versions, but I’ve only ever tried cold. For some reason hot has never appealed to me (until I type this that is, I’m suddenly very curious now…). Toward the bottom of this post I’ve added additional photos of the Bobbie, Capastrami and a Cheese Steak from previous visits. Today’s sandwich was no different than any other time. If they have one thing, it’s consistency. But they have more than one thing and that’s a damn good sandwich that’s like Thanksgiving any time of year. I never cared for cranberry sauce until I first had the Bobbie. It won me over on it. The only thing I think that they might be able to do better with is the roll, which is totally fine and nothing to write home about. It’s a fairly dense bread and I think this sandwich would be incredible with something a bit lighter.

Moving on to the Capastrami Flat Fries. The sandwich version is Pastrami, Swiss cheese, Cole Slaw & Russian Dressing. The flat fries are basically flat steak fries with all that on top. The way this comes is not exactly the most photogenic. You can’t really tell what’s in it and it sort of just looks like a salad at first glance. It was only once I started moving things around that I found a thin later of pastrami underneath the Cole slaw and the fries under that. While I will say that flavor-wise this was totally on point, I strongly prefer the sandwich version. Steak fries are possibly the worst type of fry in my opinion. They are often not cooked long enough, leaving the entire thing too mushy instead of having a crisp outer shell and soft inside. These had that issue which was compounded with the ingredients piled on top. The pastrami and Russian dressing really carry the flavor here, with the dressing adding a sort of 1000 island flavor but more tangy.

The fries were an interesting idea but ultimately I’ll be sticking to the sandwiches. As far as other sandwiches here I’ve tried both the Wagyu and the Impossible Cheese Steaks (side by side even) and they are both solid and I can recommend them.

Factoring in the fries for this visit I’d knock it down from 5/5 to 3.5/5. It’s the first miss for Capriotti’s that I’ve experienced.

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#274: Rose Café & Bagel

9:20AM 4/9/2022

https://www.rosecafeandbagel.com/

This morning I headed out to far West Roseville to check out this little bagel spot for breakfast. Rose Café & Bagel is tucked just into the edge of the suburban sprawl on Baseline right in-between Junction and Fiddyment. It’s not easy to miss. The several buildings in this little complex are all painted bright barn-red and across the street is a tall radio tower. According to one of the employees both the large daycare center and the Cafe have the same owner. Perhaps they own all three buildings, given their shared aesthetic.

They make all their bagels in house each day and have a variety to choose from. In addition to your typical bagels with spreads they also have breakfast bagel sandwiches and hot or cold bagel sandwiches for lunch. They also have a full menu of coffee drinks.

Now I’m a bit out of my element here. About the only time I ever eat bagels is when they are brought to work or the couple times I visited NYC. Adding to that I’m not much of a coffee drinker beyond my morning cup of basic drip coffee I make at home in the morning. I decided to grab a Mocha and one of the breakfast sandwiches.

The cafe has a nice bright interior with a medium-sized dining area. They have a nice patio that I would have used if it weren’t so gusty out. My attention was immediately drawn to the ceiling, which was laced with loads of tiny string lights. It must look very cool in the winter when less light is blasting in through the windows in the morning. Behind the counter were about 4-6 people and I was greeted as soon as I had stepped inside. I took a minute to go over the sandwiches and picked out the Southwest (Egg, Ham, Havarti Cheese, Tomato, Spinach, Avocado)[$8.95]. “Sandwiches come with a sourdough based plain bagel”. I went with the large for my Mocha [$5.50].

Just before I had left the counter a barista started working on my mocha and asked if I wanted it “kinda sweet” or “sweet”. I thought for a second and the few white mochas I’ve had from La Bou and Starbucks and how I think they are way too sweet but usually forget since I get them so infrequently and went with kinda sweet. It ended up being a pretty good choice, and I was glad he asked.

Within about five minutes he brought my drink out and the sandwich was delivered a minute or so later. I was mildly disappointed in the to-go presentation of the mocha, not very photo friendly, but oh well. Taking the lid off revealed the optional whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate. The drink was hot, but not too hot to enjoy right away. It was very chocolatey and fairly sweet without being too sweet. Not too shabby, though I have little to compare it with.

My sandwich was neatly prepared and wrapped. I think they forgot the avocado, despite the obvious avocado-like green stain in the cross-section of the bagel where it was sliced. I assume that must have come from the spinach, because I remember no avocados. The sandwich was very light and simple. There was not a huge amount of any particular ingredient, so the bagel itself dominated the flavor overall. It was a good bagel though, toasted just right and soft within. I did hope for a more substantial sandwich, but having a relatively light breakfast ended up being good and gave me just the right amount of energy to go tackle all the weekend chores before noon.

Like I said, I’m not much of a bagel/coffee guy, so it’s hard for me to get super excited for this place. The staff was incredibly friendly and efficient and I liked the general feel for the place. I think a 3.5/5 is a reasonably fair score here. One of their lunch sandos could be something to bring me back some day. Carnitas and Caprese options both caught my eye…

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