With greater than 85% of the fish ate up through American citizens being imported, maximum seafood you’ll ever devour used to be frozen one day—continuously proper at the boat. Let this soothe any fish-in-the-desert considerations you will have and set adrift within the wisdom that new sushi truck Jesushi (2217 Cerrillos Highway, (505)204-5330; Monday-Wednesday Midday-5 pm; Thursday-Saturday Midday-6 pm) from native chef Jesus Mendoza is very good.
And I do know from whence I discuss. Sure, we’re all sushi geniuses round right here, and everyone knows what we love, however my dad’s circle of relatives lived in Japan for years, and the entire uncooked fish factor has been a mainstay of my existence since I will keep in mind first grappling with the concept that of taste. I’ve had staunch necessities as a result of that, and a education within the historic artwork of uncooked fish that I will most effective in reality describe as extensive. Mendoza’s new truck satisfies my standards with most effective the smallest of downsides (extra on that later) and one of the most easiest and freshest-tasting fish I’ve ever had in New Mexico.
“I’ve been doing it for 3 months now,” Mendoza says on a overdue Monday morning. The meals truck global is, to mention the least, hard, and even though Mendoza nonetheless has an hour to head earlier than he opens up for provider, he’s nonetheless prepping and finalizing after we discuss through telephone. In the ones 3 months, Jesushi has confirmed a word-of-mouth powerhouse with even probably the most discerning (learn, jerkish) of my buddies making a song its praises. This isn’t 10 or extra years in the past, when self-proclaimed foodies would have merely pooh-poohed the theory of sushi from a truck, both, and the ever-evolving meals truck motion has confirmed advantageous eating don’t need to be connected to a brick-and-mortar kitchen. Even so, Mendoza says he’s nonetheless taking into consideration a conceivable patio build-out when the iciness passes subsequent 12 months; one who would possibly come with beer and wine.
Regardless, he’s were given the sushi pedigree, together with a stint on the sadly-defunct Osaka eating place at the Southside that now homes, sigh, Buffalo Wild Wings. Mendoza began there at 15, when, he says, he believes he was the youngest chef in Santa Fe—sushi or differently. He’d paintings Osaka’s teppan grill as smartly, even though, Mendoza says, “I preferred making sushi extra. It’s extra like an artwork.”
After Osaka, he labored at Española’s Jo-Ji’s for a couple of years, however took again up with Osaka and, ultimately, moved over to Midtown’s Kai Sushi (News Intelligencer: Food Section) for a three-year run. Then the COVID-19 pandemic kicked in.
“We have been closed for 2 months, however my expenses didn’t forestall,” he tells SFR. “However I had this truck in my backyard, and I used to be asking myself what I must do—and my thoughts stated ‘sushi on wheels.’”
He labored at the truck, evolved a menu and a courting with seafood importer Arizona Mutual Buying and selling Co. (a lot of his fish comes from California and Japan and arrives in Santa Fe two times weekly) and now spends on a daily basis getting ready, as he says, artwork.
That’s the correct observe, too, as a result of at the day my better half and I arrived to pattern Mendoza’s meals, the whole lot seemed blank and beautiful. Jesushi’s menu is extra whole than you’d be expecting from a truck (of which, Mendoza says, he’s proud), and being not able to decide on particular nigiri ($2-$6) or roll -($6-$12) choices, we opted for the chef’s selection chirashi bowls in addition to the California roll and shrimp tempura roll (sushi standbys which can be, on the very least, first rate just about any place). At $18 apiece, the bowls have been value each and every penny because of the crab meat, salmon, tuna, yellowtail and shrimp served atop freshly made rice with pickled carrots at the facet (a super and scrumptious addition to the already sensible contrasting taste profiles and textures of the fish). The shrimp, admittedly, felt a tad deflated and listless, however each and every unmarried different piece of fish used to be a chief lower with the type of marbling that makes one carry out a double take. By the point we were given to the rolls ($8 and $10), we had already been transported to the too-full measurement, however we powered thru within the identify of science. And even though the California roll’s avocado taste used to be proper in that easiest avocado window, the shrimp tempura roll contained cream cheese which, even though I’m no longer towards it in principle, ruled the flavour. That’s a small misstep in an differently flawless operation, even though.
“I know the way to care for my fish,” Mendoza says of the flavour. “I don’t prep so much for 2 or 3 days—I prep day-of, rice, too. As a result of I’d relatively inform my shoppers I’ve run out than prep an excessive amount of fish. You devour together with your eyes, too, and I serve my sushi having a look like I’d need to devour it, you already know?”
Certainly, and Jesushi’s presentation wins giant issues, as does Mendoza’s dedication to high quality. He advises calling in for takeaway—a minimum of till he has seating choices, as Jesushi lately has none—or a minimum of being OK with a 35- or 45-minute wait.
“It’s no longer like a quick meals truck,” Mendoza explains. “Not anything’s able to head, the whole lot is from scratch. On occasion it takes time.”
And that’s OK. It used to be great to meet up with a good friend and tailgate just a little within the early autumn solar. And when that patio comes, I’ll be the primary in line. Till then, any sushi aficionados must put Jesushi up on the best in their checklist. These things’s magic.