Food Review: California Roll
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No, it’s not just a roll. It’s actually a small, locally owned restaurant tucked away behind Dimple Records off of Santa Clara Avenue in Roseville.
Let me start by saying that I’m a bit of a sushi snob. Blue Nami actually makes me nauseous and, like most broke high school students, the only way that I get to Mikuni’s is if someone over the age of twenty five is picking up the bill. So, I was determined to find a place that provided me with reasonably priced and relatively fresh sushi.
I figured that California Rolls are the perfect mix of traditional sushi and California cuisine, so this place earned bonus points before I had even stepped through the threshold.
When I did roll through the door, I was struck by the abundance of natural light and relaxed atmosphere.
Low hanging lanterns line the tables with white walls and dark wash wood give it a clean feel and a Japanese mural in the back accents the place with an authentic touch.
It was empty except for myself and a couple in the back corner, which is never a promising sign, but not to worry. Soon after, I was met by a friendly waitress who encouraged me to take a seat wherever I wanted.
Quickly after I took a seat, I was brought a complimentary piping hot bowl of Miso Soup, which on a rainy January afternoon, was not only delicious but just the thing to warm me up to the core.
The menu was varied but not overwhelmingly large and included a page dedicated to bento boxes for those less adventurous. There was also a large selection of Saki for those who are of age (I, the uncultured person I am, forgot it was alcoholic and tried to order Hot Saki thinking it was hot tea…awkward).
After much humming and hawing, I chose to order a Hurricane Roll with spicy tuna, and of course, I felt inclined to try the namesake roll.
My order was taken almost the second that I closed my menu and the waitress asked me again if she could get me anything else. I assured her that I was fine and after being left to myself, noticed the little ambiance details of California Roll.
A cherry blossom tree, called a Sakura tree in Japan, can be found in the back, a symbol in the Japanese culture of hope and simplicity.
The music was incredible, fitting with the location across from Dimple Records. Everything from John Mayer to Adele came on as I awaited my food.
As Maroon 5 was halfway through their serenade to me, I spotted my plate coming from the kitchen.
I began to salivate before she could even set my plate down and as soon as she finally did, I was not disappointed.
Both rolls were bigger than I expected (I had to take a box home). One was drenched in a crisscross of sauces and the California Roll was arranged in a stepping stone pattern as if the pieces of sushi were going to hop across one another and into my mouth.
The Hurricane Roll was awesome. The spicy tuna was fresh and hot enough to make me grab for my water, but not overwhelming enough to cover the flavor of the ahi or shrimp or make me wish for a glass of milk.
I also managed to figure out the reason the name of the restaurant is California Roll. It’s because they’ve mastered it.
I’d always imagined that all California Rolls tasted relatively the same, that is until I’d tasted this one. The fresh crab mixture worked in perfect harmony with the avocado to recreate the light taste that makes California Cuisine famous.
Even with soy sauce, the rolls stayed together unlike most other sushi that falls apart at the first attempt to pick it up.
The reasonable prices, good music, and fantastic food, as well as a quiet, intimate setting, topped off with friendly, quick service will definitely have me back in the future, hopefully with eager friends in tow.