Gonul Blum, for years a fixture in the local food scene, has sold her latest restaurant, packed up her culinary repertoire and moved to the Bay Area.
The news will surely disappoint many of her admirers who had come to enjoy Blums keen sense of fresh, dynamic flavors and her Turkish/Mediterranean cooking.
Blum had been on the move in recent years, but only locally, swapping her East Sacramento Gonuls J Street Cafe with Formolis Bistro a few years back. Then she opened Trio at 826 J St. downtown in June of 2012 and, while it was slow to catch on and develop a following, the food was often superb.
I caught up with Blum by phone. She penned the deal to sell the restaurant a month ago.
My husband got transferred to San Ramon. We live in Oakland now, so I had to sell the restaurant, she said.
Her husband is Mitchell Blum, a plastic surgeon specializing in non-invasive facelifts.
Trios final day of service was two weeks ago. But the expansive space wont sit dormant for long. Mike Jang, a longtime restaurateur, plans to open a high-end sushi place there and be open by mid-December.
I think its a really good location, Blum said. Its going to be awesome with the Kings.
Blum is referring, of course, to the proposed arena at the site of the downtown mall. Restaurants are buzzing about the potential, and weve already seen upscale seafood place McCormick and Schmicks (1111 J St.) replaced by more family-oriented Claim Jumper.
Jang, who owns Sensei Sushi in Rancho Cordova, says he is in the process of building a sushi bar at his new downtown location. The restaurant will be called Sushi Paradise.
I asked how his restaurant will distinguish itself from the many other sushi eateries in town.
I will be using three of the very, very high-end sushi chefs that I scouted. One is from Beverly Hills and two are from the Bay Area. Mine is going to be more of a high-end restaurant. Im only using the freshest fish the fish will be flown in from Japan.
He said there will be a section on the menu called omakase, or chefs choice, that will cost from $35 to $100, depending on the ingredients.
Call The Bees Blair Anthony Robertson, (916) 321-1099. Follow him on Twitter @Blarob