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Dining Out–Ricksha

Risksha
2228 10th St
(916) 442-6246

Open for lunch and dinner (5 pm – 9 pm) Monday through Saturday

The words "sushi" and "cheap" rarely hang out together in the same sentence unless chaperoned by "isn't." But at Ricksha every Tuesday, "isn't" takes the night off and "sushi" and "cheap" play spin the bottle.

One dollar hand-roll night may sound like an unfortunate holdover from the disco era, but in reality it's a way to feed sushi for four people for $28. A hand-roll is sushi done up like a little ice cream cone, just under half the size of a normal six-piece sushi roll. That picture you're looking at is $10 worth of sushi.

It's a particularly fun ritual at Risksha because 1. It's so cheap you can go crazy and 2. the stuff you went crazy and ordered comes up to 10 hand-rolls in a big rack like the ones they use to hold cones in an ice cream place. They have about 30 kinds of choose from, from your regular hamachi (tuna) and unagi (barbecued eel) to avocado and various vegetable other vegetables ones.

If you're eating with sushi novices, or just want to try something new, it's a cheap way to figure out if you like it. We were eating with a couple of older kids, who got to try-and generally decided they liked-some of the more challenging fish, like mackerel (very fishy) and ama ebi (raw shrimp, a sweet, oddly creamy, melt in your mouth flavor that's not for everyone). This sure beats investing in a $14 roll with some absurd name you'll end up picking apart to get at the stuff you really want.

Be warned that this isn't Mikune or some other fancy sushi place, with techno music blaring over a clientele wanting to be seen. The hipsters here are aplenty, but they're more the thrift-store variety. The décor is no frills. The sushi is better than you would expect for so little money, but it probably won't quite measure up to places where you pay three times as much.

But the prices, fun scene and friendly service seem to keep Ricksha crowded. And Tuesday isn't the only cheap sushi night. Friday is $20 all-you-can-eat sushi night. We got out on our Tuesday visit for well less than that, but probably not as stuffed as we would have been on a Friday. They also offer a full selection of bento boxes and teriyaki type meals, also at well below average prices.

So if the economy stays crappy for awhile, and I need a way to comfort food my way out of the accompanying malaise, I'll probably be heading back to Risksha pretty soon.


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