Beyond sushi

Japanese Blossoms owner branches out; Lotus Guide opens community center in Paradise

I first met Jeramie Sabelman a few years back when I interviewed him for a piece I wrote in the CN&R’s Chico dining guide, Savor. I wanted to learn more about the head chef and owner of one of Chico’s most loved restaurants, Japanese Blossoms.

I discovered that Sabelman truly cares about what he puts on a plate—about its freshness, about it supporting local farmers, about its healthfulness, even about its carbon footprint.

Since then, he started selling premade sushi rolls at New Earth Market, then at In Motion Fitness, and finally at Chico State. Japanese Blossoms won Best Local Restaurant in Chico in CN&R’s annual poll last year, and he’s won Best Chef.

And there’s more on the horizon. Sabelman announced this week that he’s opening a second location—sort of. Cabana Cafe inside InMo is closing its doors May 24 and Sabelman will be working over the summer to transform the space into Synergy. The fare will be simple: salads, wraps and bowls, grab-and-go style, with an emphasis on providing quick, healthy meals. There’ll still be sushi, too.

I’m excited to check it out—maybe it’ll inspire me to get my butt to the gym!

More sushi news Back in 2012, I wrote a story about sustainable sushi, and a few weeks later, I got an email from Jimmy Lee saying he was about to open Aonami Sustainable Sushi, which has developed quite a following in the years since. Fast-forward to last week, when I got a call from Lee, who wanted to let me know that he has a fun event planned at his sushi spot next month. He’ll be serving a prix fixe menu with ocean conservationist/author Casson Trenor, who will read from his latest book. It’s scheduled for June 19.

Time to meditate If there’s one thing people could use a dose of in these post-Camp Fire times, it’s serenity, calm. So it’s fitting that the Lotus Guide Center for Healing & Information is opening in the heart of downtown Paradise, on the Skyway.

From what the Lotus Guide’s Rahasya Poe tells me about the center, it looks to be pretty rad. It’s a partnership with Love’s Vibrant ArtMarianna Love’s is the only large collection of paintings to survive the Camp Fire, according to Poe. Plus, it will be a space for stress-relief workshops; open-mic and movie nights; weekly active meditations led by Poe’s wife, Dhara; and a detox center for first responders and people moving back to the area, run by Doctors Against Disease.

Go celebrate the grand opening this weekend (May 18) at 4 p.m.

More healing: Thanks to a grant from the North Valley Community Foundation, Chico Community Acupuncture is able to bring back the free services for Camp Fire survivors it offered immediately after the disaster. “But still, wave after wave of people have come in at various stages of grief, anger, stress related exacerbation of health conditions, trauma recovery,” owner Olivia Peters-Lazaro wrote in an email. Call 345-5300, or go to for more info.