Business is booming.

Ex-Utzutzu chef has a new East Bay sushi pop-up with fish from a renowned Japanese

0 59


The sushi chef who made Utzutzu a destination for traditional omakase in Alameda has branched out on his own.

Chef Joji Nonaka and Anna Osawa, who worked as a server at Utzutzu before the pandemic temporarily shuttered the restaurant, started a pop-up called Sushi Salon in February. It specializes in simple omakase made with wild-caught fish from a particular fish broker in Japan who doesn’t sell to anyone else in the U.S. Fish & Bird Sousaku Izakaya, located at 2451 Shattuck Ave. at Haste Street in downtown Berkeley, hosts it every other week.

They’re looking for a permanent space in Oakland, but Osawa said it’s difficult finding something suitable for an intimate omakase restaurant with as few as 12 seats.

Until they find a spot, the pop-ups will continue. Typically the premium dinner for two ($250) is the first to sell out, since Nonaka makes only 20 per night. It comes with 24 pieces of nigiri, miso soup, wakame salad and a seasonal dessert. Smaller offerings include bara chirashi ($68), cubes of seasonal fish over rice; tuna crudo with black olive-miso sauce ($25); and a futomaki roll ($36), with layers of seafood, omelet and pickled vegetables. For now, all offerings are available for takeout only.

Futomaki is one of the more affordable a la carte items from Berkeley pop-up Sushi Salon.

Futomaki is one of the more affordable a la carte items from Berkeley pop-up Sushi Salon.

Sushi Salon

What makes Sushi Salon stand out, Osawa said, is the direct relationship Nonaka has with renowned fish broker Hasegawa Hiroki, who buys fish for top sushi destinations and other fine dining restaurants in Asia. They met while Nonaka was back in Japan, studying sushi in the same social circle as Hasegawa. But Nonaka hadn’t asked Hasegawa to link him up with fish back when he was the chef at Utzutzu.





Read More: Ex-Utzutzu chef has a new East Bay sushi pop-up with fish from a renowned Japanese

2021-04-26 11:03:29

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Watch Sky News