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I am a fan of sushi, but eat less of it than I’d like. I’ve often pondered why that is and have developed a solid theory. All too often, it’s offered without quality beer available to wash it down. I consider this a missed opportunity, since this style of cuisine that has a lot going for it as far as food and beer pairability is concerned.

I can think of no better palate cleansing option for sinus-clearing wasabi than a swig of a citric IPA (make it a West Coast double). And lighter styles such as pilsner, wheat beers, bocks and saisons match the clean, poignant flavors of raw, fresh seafood and items such as uni and fish roe.

If you’ve never tried, or been giving the option to try craft beer with sushi, a great opportunity is coming up via a beer-pairing dinner at Saiko Sushi. A new addition to the Coronado restaurant scene, Saiko has been open just over a month, but is generating a good deal of buzz and business from Islanders behind a chef who was offered the head sushi chef job at Harney Sushi, but decided instead to proceed with a venture all his own where he could bring his distinct fusionistic style to diners without compromise.

The dinner, which will take place on October 25th at 7 p.m., will include six courses paired with beers from Saiko’s Orange Avenue neighbors, Coronado Brewing Company. Among the pairings on the menu is a new-style Hamachi sashimi with a reduction of blood orange (served with Orange Avenue Wit), a salmon roll with Szechuan albacore tartar and chipotle-pomegranate purée (Mermaid Red) and a dessert of chocolate chawamushi (steamed custard) with a sweet beer sabayon and Chinese five-spice whipped cream (Stoopid Stout).

Asian food and American craft beer—to me there is no better interpretation on the East meets West model. Reservations can be made by calling (619) 435-0868. Saiko Sushi is located at 116 Orange Avenue.

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