On the recommendation of a neighbor from Japan, I went to Akebono in Granite Bay. I started out with a sake tasting set consisting of small glasses of three kinds of craft sake, a junmai, a ginjo and a daiginjo. The set was about $10, and worth it to have examples of the better sakes from Japan. I ordered scallop, uni, ikura and all were quite good. Then I asked the chef for a recommendation, and he came back with two pieces of Oh-toro. They were huge slabs of fish, nutty and buttery in flavor, with a texture almost like foie gras. Fantastic, and only $9-something for the pair. They were so filling I could eat no more. I asked for green tea, and they brought me a huge mug of an astonishingly high grade of green tea, with just a touch of toasted rice in the flavor.
This place looks promising! In addition to the large sushi bar, they also serve a rather complete selection of other Japanese food, including a lot of small-dish izakaya-type items, including udon, donburi and tonkatsu.
It's standing alone in the parking lot of a shopping center on the southeast corner of the intersection. About 100 feet away is an absolutely tremendous Italian deli with a mouth-boggling selection of imported salami, sausage, prosciutto, etc. -- details after I attend one of their evening wine tastings.
8685 Auburn-Folsom Rd. (at Douglas)