Sushi and barbecue together? New restaurant combining cultures, tastes |

Sushi and barbecue together? New restaurant combining cultures, tastes

When Soul Sushi BBQ opens sometime between Sept. 15 and 20, it will offer something for everyone, whether or not they enjoy their food cooked or in the raw.

“When you walk into Soul Sushi BBQ, there’s something for you to eat – truly,” said owner/chef Gary Flood.

Flood thought of the idea for Soul Sushi BBQ five years ago when he noticed that the ratio of women to men at sushi restaurants was about three to one, he said. By adding barbecue and organic foods to his menu, he said, “it opens up the possibility of a whole family” to eat there.

Soul Sushi BBQ, located in the Westgate Center at 11429 Donner Pass Rd., will feature four types of food – sushi, barbecue, smoked whole birds (turkeys, chickens, pheasants, etc.) and an organic deli that will offer take-out.

“All our sushi is unique because we’ll be the only sushi on the North Shore that uses all organic produce – the only one,” Flood said.

The restaurant will also feature a sake bar with several premium sakes to choose from, Flood said.

Flood has been making sushi and barbecue for over 20 years. He owned a smoked foods store called G.W.’s Smokes in Santa Cruz as well as ran a sushi bar called Surf Sushi. Flood was also a partner at Java Sushi in Truckee for three years. He said he is currently working on a book about contemporary sushi making.

“A traditional sushi chef operates on a kind of God complex. They give you what they think you need to eat,” he said. “But now we’re dealing with Americans that have an extensive knowledge of sushi so the contemporary sushi chef listens to what you want.”

Besides writing the book on sushi, Flood also makes his own recipes for sushi rolls, which he names after events and people in his life. But teaching people how to make sushi is what Flood enjoys best.

“For me, the high point of food now is teaching. It’s where a true exchange of ideas happens.”

The cooked food side of Soul Sushi BBQ is going to be “real substantial,” Flood said.

The barbecue will be cooked on a “Southern pride” pit that Flood said was the hardest part in getting ready to open.

“We had to cut a hole in the building to get the pit in the restaurant,” he said.

Flood owns the restaurant with local developer/contractors Eric Reamer and Gary Talbot.

“It’s been great being able to work with these guys,” Flood said, adding that his partners took a big part in planning.

The restaurant will seat up to 48 people and will employ somewhere between 18 to 25, Flood said.

For information, call 587-2680.

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