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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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S21 offers perfect half-day fare

When my friends and I searched for a place to have lunch on half-days, we used to settle for the default “Promised Land” options. Now, however, we have a new favorite, courtesy of our friend and foreign student Ellie Park, ’10.

Ellie’s parents, after moving to Fresno from South Korea three years ago, opened a sushi and Japanese restaurant called S21. The restaurant, which features fresh sushi, entrees and even karaoke nights, is located close to school at Bullard and First.

On a recent half day, friends Elizabeth Grossman, Alex Aleman, Alyssa Quenzer, Ellie and I, all seniors, drove to S21 for a leisurely lunch.

The restaurant is decorated with polaroid photos of loyal customers, a long sushi bar and one wall covered with synthetic grass. The funky vibe is accompanied by fun music and pleasant service, including Ellie’s parents.

As this was Alyssa and Elizabeth’s first time trying sushi, they started with some non-threatening snacks from Alex’s “bento box,” including vegetable tempura and edamame. The traditional treats were a perfect introduction to the sushi.

I ordered a caterpillar roll ($11): a California roll with unagi added, and slices of avocado across the top instead of fish. The rice was perfectly sticky, and the avocado variation delicious and creative.

The bento box, which also featured a California roll, unagi roll, rice and teriyaki beef, was the most expensive option at $20. However, it features a wide array of Asian delights, and is easy to share.

While the unagi (cooked eel) rolls that Ellie ordered for the table were a bit “out there” for my friends, they loved their less adventurous teriyaki chicken bowls.

Ellie, the most authentic of us all, ordered a huge bowl of soup full of Japanese noodles, egg, tofu and other mysterious ingredients.

The service, although sometimes timid, is always prompt and polite. It is especially interesting to watch one’s friend interact in two cultures at once. While it is sometimes confusing to communicate with someone who does not share your language, this problem does ensure an authentic experience.

Overall, S21 offers an ideal sushi experience: the genuine article without over-priced, trendy hype. It is the perfect spot for half-day outings and weeknight dinners with family.

For more information about S21, check out food reviews on Yelp or call (559) 438-7100.

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    Brianna CarlsonJan 29, 2011 at 12:02 am

    AcaDec people! My heart goes out to you. I read Grapes of Wrath recently, and I totally feel your pain. I am so proud of y’all! Make Mrs. Sargent happy, and READ THE BOOK! You’ve just got to love the classics.

    Colleyville, TX

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