Sac-eats’ round-up of grocery-store sushi has been gnawing at me for days. I want sushi. Real sushi. Now. But with the sushi friends crew out of town for the holiday weekend and deadlines crushing me, I have to put a trip to the raw bar off for a few more days.
But that doesn’t stop me from thinking about it.
Sushi and I go way back. We were first introduced at Shige on Howe, when the idea was so new and the place so hot that you’d bump into what passes for Sacramento celebrity there most nights — yes, a TV news personality, or maybe even a Sacramento King. Before Shige, I was a chicken terriyaki and tempura combo girl at the venerable Ricksha, which still holds down the Ninth and W corner of what used to be Sacramento’s pre-war Japanese neighborhood, Southside Park. A little terriyaki at Ricksha, a snow-cone at Osaka-Ya next door in the summer time and maybe a foray across the street into the mysterious (to me, anyway) insides of Senator Fish. All gone now except for Ricksha — Shige, Osaka-Ya and Senator Fish are no more.
Then, of course, came Mikuni.
Suddenly we were all lined up at 5 p.m. opening to worship at the Hazel Avenue shrine of Taro. Taro was — and still is — the King of Sushi in Sacramento, but we were like those girls who secretly liked a different Beatle. We chose to sit in front of Michael Teng. When Mike left to found Nishiki on 16th, we went with him. And then again, we followed him to the now-shuttered Wow Sushi on Howe … across from what used to be Shige. Yes, we’d come full circle, my little sushi club and I.
When Mike had to close Wow, he left a note on the door. “So sorry to have to leave you. Go to Kru.” And so, we did. And now Billy is our favorite sushi master. We have even run into Mike there, and how’s that for an endorsement?