Sam's in La Quinta has been a favorite of sushi fans because of its excellent menu and wonderful service. Their newest location, at the site of the former Maki Maki at The River in Rancho Mirage, carries on this tradition, but with a more sophisticated, upscale motif.
The larger sushi bar, with its sleek, granite counter, easily seats a large crowd and gives you a front-row seat where you can feast your eyes on the chefs.
Watch them prepare Yellowtail Kama, Dancing Shrimp with Crabmeat and Seared Tuna Sashimi. Sam's appetizer menu also features spicy Edamame, Tempura (shrimp and vegetable), Soft Shell Crab, Seafood or Chicken Yakidori, and a Japanese Taquito (deep-fried spicy tuna with cream cheese).
If you're new to the whole sushi/sashimi experience, time for a mini lesson. Sushi is made with a special Japanese short-grain sticky rice seasoned with sweet rice-wine vinegar and is often wrapped in nori, a specially treated seaweed. While raw fish is the most popular ingredient in sushi, Japanese sticky rice is what makes the dish. Shellfish and cooked fish are also frequently used.
Sashimi is very thinly sliced raw fish served with a variety of sauces and garnishes, such as soy sauce and wasabi (Japanese ground horseradish).
If your lunch routine is getting a little boring, drop into Sam's and take advantage of the great two-choice special for $8.50. (Three items will run you $10.50.) Served with salad, rice and Miso soup, choose between such selections as Chicken Teriyaki, Mixed Tempura (one shrimp and four vegetables), Sushi (three pieces), Spicy Tuna Rolls (four pieces) and Beef or Salmon Teriyaki plus more.
This same great deal is also offered in the evening hours for just a little bit more.
Prices overall at Sam's are extremely reasonable. One of their most popular dishes, the California Roll with Baked Lobster, is $13.50. For $10.50 (and under), enjoy such selections as the Hungry Roll with Spicy Tuna, Shrimp Tempura with Crabmeat, or the Sexy Spicy Salmon Crunch.