Culinary Consciousness abounds at Mesa Cafe

Hooked+On+Mesa+Sushi+Bar+and+Grill%27s+%22Mango+Tang%22+roll.
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Culinary Consciousness abounds at Mesa Cafe

Hooked On Mesa Sushi Bar and Grill's

Hooked On Mesa Sushi Bar and Grill's "Mango Tang" roll.

Kyle Kenehan

Hooked On Mesa Sushi Bar and Grill's "Mango Tang" roll.

Kyle Kenehan

Kyle Kenehan

Hooked On Mesa Sushi Bar and Grill's "Mango Tang" roll.

Tom Penner, Staff Writer

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When it comes to eating out around Mesa, the options are nearly limitless. Whether you’re looking for pizza, Mexican food or a foot long submarine sandwich, the greater Mesa area is known to provide a variety of choices.

 

However, if you’re feeling a little exotic, there is a new sushi joint right on campus!  Being the first privately owned business to open its doors on campus, Hooked on Mesa is providing fast, fresh and tasty Japanese cuisine.

 

Justin Lee Yenglin, a San Diego resident hailing from Michigan, has comprised all of his own sushi rolls. Among them, the top signature rolls include the “Nemo roll” and my personal favorite the “Mango Tang” including fresh, juicy mango slices and sweet mango sauce.

 

Yenglin’s rolls successfully represent his eleven years experience working with sushi and having been open now for his second semester, the restaurant is doing quite well. Still, his success can also be contributed by his twelve-hour workdays he puts in.  If you’re lucky, you may catch him handing out sushi roll samples, testing out his newest inventions.

 

Serving up quality takes high priority over profit for Yenglin. His day begins at 7:00 a.m. doing prep in Mira Mesa. His day ends around 6:30 pm. His years of experience have helped him gain a greater understanding into what’s important.

 

“If I won’t eat it, then I wont serve it,” Yenglin said. Taking a higher interest in quality shows his determination to give a great sushi experience. He started rolling sushi for free just to get his foot in the door.

 

With a tip about the benefits of starting a private business on campus, Yenglin ran into some obstacles. When he decided to incorporate beef and chicken bowls, he found the biggest struggle was to include quality beef and chicken products.

 

“It was probably my personal nightmare, that chicken. Finding the right quality, cutting it, cooking it and making sure to bring it in fresh” he said. As students may seem a little weary of sushi in a cafeteria, he constantly ensures new customers of the integrity of his product.

 

“Even though we’re in a cafeteria, our sushi is as good and as fresh as any sushi place in town, if not better.”

 

Hooked On Mesa also offers a rewards card. Customers can fill up their stamp cards buying sushi rolls. After the eighth purchased roll, the ninth is free.

Overall, the sushi tasted fresh and delicious. The rice was cooked to perfection and each roll seemed as if it was prepared and rolled minutes before the customers received it.

 

He was using fresh juicy vegetables, the perfect seasoning and some pleasantly creative sauces. All, right here on campus for a fair price. So, for anyone looking for a healthy delicious alternative to french fries and sandwiches, we’ve got one right in our very own cafeteria.

 

 

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