Santa Maria Sun / Biz Brief
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 25
Spotlight on: Ai Love SushiSteve Jeon, owner and chef
BY KRISTINA SEWELL
Sushi has been a popular dish for centuries in Japan, but its popularity in the Western world has increased steadily in recent years. It’s a favorite form of cuisine here on the Central Coast, too.
With his passion for sushi and cooking in general, Steve Jeon decided to bring a taste of Japan to small-town Orcutt. He transformed the storefront in Acorn Shopping Plaza—that once housed Chef Rick’s—into a cozy sushi haven.
Modern lighting, large booths, wood floors, and an inviting sushi bar add to the overall dining experience. For those warmer nights, you can enjoy your food on the front patio. Sit down and take a gander at the menu, and be prepared to spend some time deciding on your meal.
From tempura to traditional rolls, sashimi, or chicken and beef teriyaki, Ai Love Sushi has something for everyone; whether you’re a sushi expert or sushi virgin, there is bound to be something on the menu to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.
Start out with an appetizer and choose from a list of 12 appealing salads before choosing from an extensive list of rolls. Dive into your dining experience and try the Aloha Roll, which includes spicy tuna and cucumber wrapped in more tender tuna and avocado.
If you’re feeling brave, order the Calamari Tempura roll, a mix of crabmeat, cucumber, avocado, and calamari tempura. At the end of your meal (if you have enough room) satisfy your sweet tooth with tempura cheesecake ice cream or deep-fried banana ice cream.
Not feeling like sushi? Ai Love Sushi’s menu also features a selection of Korean barbecue and teriyaki bowls. Also, be sure to check out their selection of sake (rice wine) to complete your night out.
Jeon brings 20 years of restaurant experience to Orcutt. Overseas in Korea, Jeon worked in a five-star hotel, cooking everything from Japanese to French to Italian cuisine. He ventured to America in 2000 and opened Sake Sushi in the Santa Maria Town Center Mall almost six years ago. He opened Ai Love Sushi in Orcutt in late February.
Even though there are a number of sushi eateries to pick from here on the Central Coast, Ai Love Sushi is a must-see for sushi fans. Jeon trains all of his chefs, demanding perfection. Sushi rolls are an art form in Japan, and Jeon has perfected that art. Whether your roll comes beautifully laid out on a white plate, decked in flowers made from vegetables, or in a wooden ship, Jeon’s dishes are aesthetically appealing, delicious, and not to mention healthy.
Jeon could not be happier with his decision to open up shop in Orcutt.
“I love meeting new people and making new friends,” he said.
Ai Love Sushi is located at 4869 Bradley Rd. in Santa Maria. For more information, visit sakesushi805.com.
• Local moving and storage company PODS and local PODS franchisee Steve Yapp are helping take a stand to end veteran homelessness prior to the first-ever Santa Barbara County Stand Down event.
Since April, PODS has had a container in the parking lot of the Betteravia Government Center Administration Building, collecting donations such as wheelchairs, clothing, books, toiletries, and bottled water. PODS will transport the container to the Santa Maria Fairpark the day before the Stand Down event, which takes place on Oct. 13 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Yapp is the owner of three tri-counties PODS franchises, which have donated hundreds of containers to nonprofit and charitable organizations throughout Southern California since opening their doors in 2005.
For more information, visit sbcountystanddown.com or pods.com.
Staff Writer Kristina Sewell wrote this week’s Biz Spotlight. Highlights are written and compiled by Staff Writer Jeremy Thomas. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, e-mail, or mail.