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Gonul Blum.

Gonul Blum's Trio closes, makes way for new sushi place

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 - 10:43 am
Last Modified: Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 - 10:59 am

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 Blum’s 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 “Gonul’s J Street Cafe” with Formoli’s 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.

Trio’s final day of service was two weeks ago. But the expansive space won’t 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 it’s a really good location,” Blum said. “It’s 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 we’ve already seen upscale seafood place McCormick and Schmick’s (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. I’m 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 chef’s choice, that will cost from $35 to $100, depending on the ingredients.

Call The Bee’s Blair Anthony Robertson, (916) 321-1099. Follow him on Twitter @Blarob

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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Note: The Appetizers blog switched blog platforms in August 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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