Stellar vegan at Southpaw Sushi

New restaurant in North Sacramento is the newest venture for chef Lou Valente, formerly of Lou’s Sushi in Midtown

Illustration by katelynn mitrano

When Lou Valente left Lou’s Sushi, his name came off the building. But even rebranded as Midtown Sushi, its menu stayed mostly the same with a few additions. Lou’s was vegan-friendly, but Midtown doubled down with its full vegan menu. In August, those who felt allegiance to Valente were delighted when he opened Southpaw Sushi on Del Paso Boulevard. The grid-centric will grumble about having to go all the way to North Sacramento, but even with a menu with less of a vegan presence, the choice is clear. Southpaw has fewer vegan options, but each is clearly marked and executed with care. It offers staples such as a vegan Spider Roll, with panko-coated oyster mushroom in place of the customary crab. The Vegan Woodlake is essentially the Vegan Irishman from what’s now Midtown—avocado and tempura yam inside, eggplant and Brussels sprouts on top—but the garlic and ginger ponzu on the Southpaw version makes it worth traveling the extra four miles.