A Sushi Pit Stop

If you've ever made the drive on I-80 from the Bay Area to Sacramento (or vice versa), you've seen The Nut Tree Plaza on one side of the highway and the Vacaville Premium Outlets on the other side. I've always equated this area as the midpoint in my drive between the two cities, so if I ever get hungry, I know I can stop here. Last Saturday, a friend and I were coming from the East Bay, and as I got off 680 and approached Vacaville, we realized...we were pretty hungry. And we were craving sushi. I had my friend use his Yelp app to find a quick solution for dinner. Luckily, Yelp gave us two places with 4 star ratings. Only one, however, was an easy exit off the highway. Hisui 2 was going to be our sushi pit stop for this road trip, and...it was pretty good!.

Alex and I got to the restaurant a little after 7, and it was busy. (Which is always a good sign!) Hisui 2 is located in a strip mall, so we were pleasantly surprised to see dark-wood chairs, a granite countertop at the sushi bar, and a fully stocked bar for all of your cocktail needs.

To start dinner off, we were given a bowl of edamame, and weordered a couple of appetizers. The ahi poke had a mix of fresh tuna, seaweed salad, and masago on top of sliced cucumbers. It was lightly seasoned with sesame oil and soy sauce, which went well with the seaweed salad. The cucumber added a crisp, refreshing bite. In a bit of a splurge, we also had fresh oysters. They were topped with a spicy cocktail sauce, loved it!

I'm not really sure why, but aside from sushi, I always judge a Japanese joint by how well they do their teriyaki beef. (Weird, I know. But beef teriyaki happens to be my go-to entree.) I ordered Hisui 2's "Japanese Steak", a grilled New York strip served with a special ponzu sauce. It was juicy, and the smoky char from the grill was delicious with the citrus flavors in the sauce. Alex had a Salmon Teriyaki with Mixed Tempura. I didn't try his salmon, but he finished all of it...so it's safe to say it was pretty good. I definitely had to have a bite of his tempura, though. It was light and crispy, not greasy or heavy.

Finally...the sushi. I know, I know, this is a ton of food for two people. But like I said, we were starving. ;) First up: Toro Heaven. This roll had tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, crab, and jalapenos with avocado, sauce, masago, and seared fatty tuna on top. It really was heaven. There's crunch from the raw jalapeno slices and tempura shrimp, kick from the spicy tuna, and I loved the torched tuna.

Next: Cache Creek. Alex's roll had crab, cucumber, and avocado with fresh salmon on top. I liked the sweet, delicate snow crab meat, as opposed to the typical imitation crab and mayonnaise mix. This roll was a bright, fresh combination of flavors.

Last, but absolutely not least: The Mango Special. When I saw a sushi roll with mango on the menu, I got toooo excited and had to order it. The Mango Special was stuffed with tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, cucumber, and avocado, then topped with fresh mango slices and a mango sauce. I loved all of the different textures. The mango added a slight sweetness and, with the cucumber and avocado, cooled the spiciness of the tuna. The mango sauce on top seemed to be a puree of fresh, sweet mangoes with subtle seasoning, balancing the saltiness from the other sauce. It was easily my favorite part of the meal.

Alex and I left Hisui 2 full, satisfied, and falling into a food coma. (Too bad we still had some more driving to do!) If you're ever in Vacaville for shopping or just passing by during a road trip, I would recommend making a stop here if you're jonesin' for some Japanese. Not only was the food great, but the service was quality as well. It's not exactly a place that I'd put on a "MUST TRY" list or go out of my way to visit, but it's a great refuge amongst chain and fast food restaurants. All of the Special Rolls are under $10, and the variety of appetizers are also very affordable!