Prior to the pandemic, business for Coronado-based Sushi Affair was set to soar. Their beautifully presented platters won the contract for all the live summer events at Viejas Casino, along with the daily restaurant buffet. But then came the shutdown and, with no ability to even serve takeout from their Coronado kitchens, their livelihood was temporarily wiped out.
Despite this, when the Coronado Chamber would call to check in with owner Nestor Vallar, he maintained an impressively zen demeanor. Then one day he called to ask how he could make a fresh food donation to Coronado’s First Responders.
“Their commitment and dedication throughout the pandemic really inspired us and we wanted to show our appreciation.”
Although the Coronado Police Department cannot accept gifts and the Coronado Fire Department is temporarily gratefully declining, Coronado’s Sharp Hospital was thrilled to accept Nestor’s kind offer.
“Christine met us at the front of the hospital and we handed off the platters for staff to enjoy the sushi on their break. We opted to cater for the evening team as they don’t always get the perks of the day shift and it proved to be a wonderful surprise for them.”
The platters featured a colorful array of Rainbow Rolls, Philly Rolls, Ahi Sashimi and – of course – California Rolls. Nestor laughs, “Despite all the varieties of sashimi and nigiri that Sushi Affair has made over the past 12 years that classic remains my all-time favorite!”
California Roll is also a good, safe bet for people trying sushi for the first time. “I usually explain that most of the ingredients are things that they have already eaten in the past, like rice, avocado, crab and cucumber. We can also substitute seaweed [with] mamenori (soy paper) which doesn’t have a taste, if they are still wary.”
And what would be a next step for people who always default to California Roll?
“I would probably recommend a Crunchy Roll, which has a shrimp tempura inside. Sometimes we will personalize a roll just for the newbie, switching from fish to teriyaki chicken. If all else fails, we will bribe them with a $1 to try a safe roll – that usually works!”
Sushi Affair’s vegetarian repertoire is known for being especially tasty. “We have a great range of options including sautéed asparagus, fire roasted bell peppers, sautéed shiitake mushrooms, fresh cucumbers, gobo and Inari. The Inari is made out of marinated soybean or tofu which gives a delicious sweet flavor.”
It’s this caring, can-do attitude that makes Sushi Affair’s private, in-home sushi parties so popular. You can opt for safe, masked catering or fun classes where the whole family gets to try their hand at making sushi – while sporting a traditional Japanese head bandana!
“If there are kids around, we get them behind the sushi case and have them make their own rolls, on the condition that they must display it on a plate afterwards and eat what they make! You can see smiles all around with the kids, rice flying all over the place and plenty of pictures taken by the happy parents!”
If you are looking to mix up your holiday menu and put a memorable new spin on celebrations, this could be just the ticket! Find out more by visiting www.sushiaffair.com.