YuGo Sushi Bistro has been open for a few months now and the menu has a fusion of flavors and options. Owner and Chef David Salazar explained that YuGo in Japanese means fusion and that is what he has brought to Riverbank.
“So Fusion Sushi Bistro because we are mixing a lot of things with Chicano culture and Japanese but also we have chow mein and fried rice which are not Japanese so it really is everything,” said Salazar. “Going to all the restaurants from Chinese to Japanese to Mexican food that I worked at and I picked up along the way that they are very similar. That is why I started to create and mix things.”
The restaurant at 3543 Atchison Street has been several different restaurants throughout the years with most recently El Rio Café formerly La Salsa Fresh. With plans to renovate the outside of the building and incorporating what was once a coffee cup to something more fitting like a rice bowl perhaps, Salazar has plans inside and out. Going from an original one man show when he first opened, Salazar has since added to his staff with waitress Nicole Harmon, a sushi chef, and a cook in the kitchen. This is Salazar’s first restaurant and he is still working out some of the fine points in the operation.
They are currently taking reservations for a special Valentine’s Day dinner that they will be hosting with a special menu including homemade Mochi ice cream and chocolate covered strawberries.
He has been in the restaurant business for about nine years where he has perfected his chef skills in the Asian cuisine throughout the valley. They make their own corn masa for homemade tortillas for the sushi tacos or the shrimp and nopales, which is cactus. The sushi burrito or “sushirito” has been a hit for guests at YuGo along with another guest favorite the Hot Fish that is rolled in hot Cheetos.
“Our fish comes in fresh,” stated Salazar. “I don’t have freezers to store them so once we sell out we are out. I created the menu. Everything is done in house. I am buying all my produce from local farmers so we are trying to become a sustainable restaurant.”
For the few weeks that she has been working at YuGo, Harmon is very fond of the Philly Roll and the Kimichi Mexican fried rice.
“It (Kimichi) is super good,” expressed Harmon. “It has corn and kimchi is so flavorful. Our portions are really big. The Philly roll because it is fresh and it is really good. He knows what he is doing. Him alone he can’t keep up with the sushi orders. He is really passionate about the menu. He put a lot of thought into it.”
Ohana Seafood is the distributor that he gets his seafood from on a daily basis. They do not offer beer and wine but they do have sodas, tea and water. They even have Japanese sodas called Ramune in a variety of flavors like melon and strawberry.
They also make a chicken ginger with a honey slaw, egg rolls, edamame, chow mein, chicken teriyaki bowls, seared tuna, poke nachos, to name a few and a large variety of sushi rolls.
He said that they do freestyle Fridays where guests have an option to create their own roll at an affordable price dependent of course on the ingredients selected. They have Taco Tuesdays and continue to fusion together flavors creating new items for guests to try like the spicy squid sticks. The squid is on a stick with a spicy special sauce.
The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and closed on Sundays. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays during dinner have been his busiest times so far. They do a lot of takeout orders and use services like Grubhub and DoorDash.
The traditional Japanese infused with a twist menu has a little something for everyone. Salazar said although several patrons are from out of town he is hopeful that Riverbank residents will also support his new business venture in the city of action.