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Photograph by Erika Pino

Rockin' Maki: It's On a Roll

By Sarah Quelland

DELECTABLE edible exotics. Flirty little finger foods. Sexy, sensual and oh-so-adventurous. It's no small wonder sushi is becoming the appetizer of choice at more than a few nightclubs.

The most famous Bay Area sushi/nightclub is Oakland's jazz mecca Yoshi's. What began in 1973 as a 32-seat north Berkeley Japanese restaurant has blossomed into a glamorous Jack London Square supperclub. Today, ticket holders arrive early to enjoy a sumptuous dinner and performance by legendary jazz legends like Branford Marsalis and, recently, Harry Connick Jr. When Bruce Hornsby plays Yoshi's, his concert rider includes an open tab at the sushi bar.

Locally, Plant Fifty One in San Jose offers a sushi happy hour every Thursday-Friday, 4-8pm. Culinary thrill-seekers can choose from freshly flown-in salmon, unagi or tuna nigiri, spicy tuna maki, California or crab rolls, a sashimi platter or any of the club's tasty specials. Meanwhile up in Palo Alto, the Icon Nightclub has totally switched gears, turning its upscale supper club space into a rockin' sushi joint. Mas Sake has set up house inside the Icon and offers a full menu of mouth-watering temptations with sushi--nigiri, sashimi, noodles, soups, salads, appetizers, dinners and desserts. Putting its own spin on things, Mas Sake fuses Mexi-Cali and Asian influences in its freestyle tacos and rolls.

They've come up with some pretty unusual names for their maki rolls too. The You're Hot, I'm Scot roll gets our vote for the most curious--it's a yellowtail tuna in a spicy cream sauce with avocado and cucumber. Yummy!

Other enticing tidbits include the Kid Rock, the Rodman and the Rockstar--or football fans can devour a 49er or a Raider (which makes us wonder if 49ers fans chow down a Raider as some weird food-based psychological voodoo, or if they stick to munching their favorite team).

In the spirit of rock & roll sushi, we've taken the liberty of coming up with some names of our own that may be food for thought for the chefs at Mas Sake: the Shrimp Bizkit, the Lance Bass, the Ginger Fish, the Clam Anderson, the Miso Horny, the Shitake on Me, the Rock Lobster, the Rock & Roll Nigiri and the Because I Got Tai.

Iraishaimase!


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From the May 2-8, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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