14 Years in the Making: Getting to Know Elicit Sushi Chef Rene Salazar


14 Years in the Making: Getting to Know Elicit Sushi Chef Rene Salazar

Elicit Bar and Lounge is more than your standard cocktail bar. Our menu includes unique takes on your favorite Asian dishes as well as hand rolled sushi. Today, we sat down with sushi chef Rene Salazar of Elicit to learn more about his training, inspiration, and favorite culinary dishes.

Rene Salazar was born in  Mexicali Baja California North. At the age of 19, he immigrated to California, where he started washing dishes at Sushi Ota, one of the most-loved San Diego sushi restaurants. Salazar spent the next 14 years studying under master sushi chef Yukito Ota. Today, he shares his skill and love of sushi to guests at Elicit.

What (or who) inspired you to become a chef?

I admired Yukito Ota very much, he trained my brother to roll sushi as well and I always had a friendly rivalry with my brother.  

What is your favorite ingredient or dish to cook? (Sushi or other)

Any yakitori style grilling.

(Yakitori is a Japanese style skewered chicken, grilled over charcoal)

What is your favorite type of sushi; Maki, sashimi, etc?

For eating and making, sashimi. Hands down.

In your opinion, what is the absolute best sushi in the world, no matter the expense or rarity of ingredients.

Sushi Ota ( I know, I keep saying this)

What is one thing you wish people better understood about sushi or sushi restaurants?

That sushi is not just rolls, people knowing the taste of all kinds of fish.

What is the most common mistake people make when eating sushi?

Wasabi in your soy and soy on your rice. The soy sauce is meant to coat the fish not soak the rice.

In your opinion, what is the most important ingredient in any piece of sushi?

First the rice, second the quality of the fish.

What is your favorite cuisine to eat?

Asian foods, Ramen, yakitori, sushi.

If you could eat one meal with any chef in the world, who would it be and what would you eat?

Besides Yukito Ota…? Maybe Nobu Matsuhisa.

What achievement are you most proud of in your culinary career?

That I can do my job.

(This was Renes only response to this question, but I get it.)

With delicious hand-rolled sushi, attentive service, and the tastiest artisanal cocktails in the area, Elicit Bar & Lounge is an ideal location for your next night on the town. Visit us in the Sycuan Casino Resort Tuesday through Thursday from 5 to midnight and 5 to 2 am on Saturday and Sundays