Just relaxing on an islet in the Caribbean

Sunday, January 31, 2010

San Shi Go

The jewel of a town Laguna Beach has about six sushi bars between north and south Laguna to satisfy your sushi desires. The one that has my heart is “San Shi Go” and my family and I have been loyal fans of San Shi Go for the past twenty-one years. The restaurant is located on the third floor in a three-tiered shopping center at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Oak Streets. In addition to a full sushi bar menu, San Shi Go offers a complete traditional Japanese lunch and dining menu.

Yuji-San, our sushi chef for this particular evening, has been behind the sushi bar serving his customers for fourteen years and we were pleased to have him wait on us that night. Folks, don’t get me wrong…all the sushi chefs at San Shi Go (Koichi, Taku, Yoshi and Jimmy) are wonderful each with a special creativity and at times it is difficult deciding which sushi chef we want to serve us.

My traditional favorite dish is the “Spicy Seafood Salad” with fresh ginger dressing (a top secret recipe). This refreshing salad is a pleasant mixture of crispy romaine and iceberg lettuce layered with slices of salmon, yellowtail, albacore tuna, octopus, shrimp and crab meat then sprinkled with thinly sliced Thai chili peppers, crispy radish sprouts and drizzled with the famous house ginger dressing. I have had ginger dressing at other Japanese restaurants but San Shi Go’s ginger dressing tops them all due to the hearty flavor and lack of heavy oils in the ingredients.

Another favored of mine is the “Cajun Salmon Roll” which is filled with lots of veggies, crab meat, shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber and a tad bit of spicy mayonnaise then rolled with Cajun seared salmon slices. This cut roll is then drizzled with ponzu sauce then topped with either slivered green onions or crispy fried onions and both toppings add a pleasant, distinct flavor. I could sit here and choose the perfect adjective to describe this cut roll, but you would have to experience it for yourself to get my drift.

The sushi chefs are so creative, any vegan or vegetarian can easily dine at the sushi bar counter and the chefs will make up all kinds of non-fish cut and hand rolls. Although, if you are a veggie head or vegan, you may want to dine in their dining room and save the sushi bar for the serious sushi and sashimi eaters. In any case, all you have to do is have the sushi chef eliminate the bonito flakes from the shishito pepper dish and omit the side of spicy calamari rings from the wonderful spinach salad and you have a dish fit for vegans and veggie heads alike!

A local favorite amongst the non-fish eaters are the “Shishito Peppers” which are vibrant little sweet-hot Japanese peppers. At San Shi Go the peppers are served two ways…one wrapped with seared albacore tuna and the other sautéed and topped with bonito flakes. For those with tender palates, do not let the peppers keep you from ordering them since they are only mildly spicy (humm…could that be an oxy-moron?).

San Shi Go offers a wonderful “Spinach Mushroom Salad” consisting of fresh spinach leaves which have been gently sautéed with sliced domestic and Portobello mushrooms. Crispy thin julienned potatoes and a special dressing are the finishing ingredients for the spinach salad. Occasionally, my spousal unit has an order of Spicy Calamari pieces added to the salad…a nice crunchy bite.

As sushi dishes go San Shi Go has all the traditional fare but another favorite of mine is the “Kampachi Sushi”. Nice size pieces of yellowtail (a firm white fish) are sprinkled with uzu zest (Japanese citrus) then topped with a special black pepper paste. It is a brilliant blend of lemon and pepper and very refreshing.

I had no room for dessert but San Shi Go serves up a good looking “Tempura Ice Cream” which is ice cream wrapped in pound cake then tempura battered and deep fried. This sweet, crispy dish is served to you with a mound of whipped cream…dig in!

This dining establishment has been doing great business in my little town since they opened their doors due to the fact that they have very fresh sushi, creative chefs, great service, an outdoor patio dining area for those sexy summer nights, sake, beer, wine and $great prices$.

In conclusion, two generations of my family have thoroughly enjoyed San Shi Go and, the restaurant is also a favorite local dining spot for the cast members (when they're back home for a visit) of the former MTV reality show, ”Laguna Beach”...bring your autograph book! Thanks San Shi Go and see you tonight for my sushi fix!


San Shi Go on Urbanspoon
Open Daily Serving Lunch and Dinner

No comments:

Post a Comment