Sushi Time2868 Vista Blvd.
Sparks, CA 89434
It took us awhile to find it, but my friend Janet and I finally pulled into a strip mall off Pyramid Highway on a recent cold night. We were hungry and ready to be sated by sushi. While the name Sushi Time is a bit generic, the place has qualities that make it unique, both regarding the décor and the food.
Inside is the typical sushi bar, which was packed when we arrived. We were greeted immediately by a friendly server who offered us the two last seats near the end of the row. We sat and studied the walls as we waited for one of the incredibly busy sushi chefs to wait on us. The walls are painted a deep, sea blue and the rest of the drawings and decorations are fittingly maritime. Perhaps this just happens when two women go out together, but we tended to notice the little things that could use some work, such as the chipped paint and the fact that everything we touched was slightly sticky, as if cleaning solutions insisted on leaving their mark. The bathrooms, however, were clean and pleasant smelling—another thing women notice.
We both ordered “All you can eat” ($20.95) and began with our usual choices: octopus, eel, squid nigiri and a couple of long rolls, the names of which I am unable to exactly remember. When I asked for a copy of the menu to take home I was given only a portion of what Sushi Time serves. The owner, a genial fellow, informed us that he doesn’t want the rest of his options out there in the open for competitors to steal. In this light, it only seems fitting that I generally stick to the basics and stay away from specifics.
One specific option I did try to order was called the sad roll (with spicy tuna), which was noted with three stars for spiciness. I like my food spicy and so I bravely called for it. The chef, who turned out to be the owner, replied without hesitation, “Are you sure?” Of course I was sure, I declared. He then prodded me into having a taste of the sauce first, before I dove in. I’m glad I did. It was indeed spicy. I handled it, but with watery eyes and a glass of water. I immediately understood and appreciated his warning. Also, it was a bit too bitter for me. I tend to like my sushi sauces saltier. For his part, he was rather impressed that I had not run straight to the bathroom, as other customers have often done. He told us he has never tried the spicy stuff himself. He just whips it up, gives a warning and serves it to those brave enough to press on.
The service wavered a bit here and there, mostly due to the number of customers, so this is perhaps a good sign. Also, after a bit of a wait, the owner apologized and encouraged us to return. The atmosphere was inviting and the service extremely friendly.
And now—what about the sushi? Well, it was all right. Truth be told, it was good but not great. In all, we ordered about six long rolls and were pleased with our meal without being blown away. However, if you happen to live in the area it’s certainly worth stopping in. Plenty who live in the area seem to already have figured that out. But is it worth a drive from Reno? Probably not.