In 2013, Sylmar native Omar Flores decided to open a restaurant in his hometown that combined Mexican and Japanese flavors. Now known as Xevichez, the restaurant has a loyal following, and is known for its signature rolls and fusion dishes, fun atmosphere, and big screen TVs that broadcast sporting events.
As business at the original location grew, Flores noted that a large amount of customers came from Santa Clarita, and were constantly asking for a location closer to home. So when they started thinking about opening a second location, Valencia just seemed like the place to be. So, as of Friday, Xevichez Sushi Bar, Valencia, is now open on Town Center Drive, across from Urban Home. But, no worries, the original location is still open and serving in Sylmar.
I wasn’t sure what to expect coming into Xevichez. Those of us that have been around for a while will remember this space as the former Maru spot. This is not Maru, and they aren’t trying to be Maru. This is a completely different concept and they have their own identity. And, it is truly unique for Santa Clarita.
As soon as I walked in, I was drawn by the sleek look of the space. The freshly painted walls, the big TV screens, and the atmosphere. Everyone looked happy, it just felt like the “it place” and I can see it being the perfect date night spot. Just about every table was full, the sushi chefs were happily interacting with customers, and it just felt good to be there.
Yet this place isn’t all atmosphere. The food is really good too, starting with the garlic edamame, which I couldn’t get enough of. The octopus salad was our first real taste of the food Xevichez has to offer, and immediately the Mexican twist was apparent. The flavors will taste familiar to anyone that grew up eating Mexican seafood dishes. You know, that citrus/lemon/lime flavor combined with chili? It’s like that. And it was perfection.
It only got better after that when we ordered the Xevichez Xevichito. Fresh chunks of seafood served in three portions on a bed of chicken crackling. Seriously. I can’t wait to have this dish again.
For those wanting to get a taste without committing to a whole roll or the AYCE, they have 2 piece orders of certain items. Pictured below is the Shrimp a la Chepe, a perfect fusion of traditional and Mexican. We ate it lemon slice and all.
We also ordered a two piece of the shrimp aguachile, but after one bite, we immediately ordered the aguachile roll. My aunt Leticia makes the best aguachile I’ve ever had in my life, and I’m a fan of the traditional Mexican dish which is essentially shrimp drowning in a spicy lime chile sauce. In my opinion, this aguachile roll is a perfect representation of what they are trying to achieve at Xevichez with their food. A fusion, that is so flavorful and bold in the traditional Mexican lime/chile flavors, yet muted enough to combine with sushi rice and crab meat. Their head sushi chef, Jose Jimenez, came up with this dish, and it is his style, his sauce and recipe, and I absolutely loved it.
About 80% of the sushi chefs are Mexican and the way that they dress up their rolls is representative of their culture. The seasoning, the sauces, the flavor combinations, in sushi form, is truly unique in Santa Clarita. The best experience is sitting at the bar and talking to the chefs. They’ll take good care of you. Speaking of, Pedro (if you know you know) is working behind the sushi bar at Xevichez now. You’re welcome.
They do have AYCE for lunch and dinner at two different price points (VIP and regular) but they also have stir fry and lunch bowls that start at about $10. The prices are on par with most sushi restaurants in town. They also have traditional rolls, and most dishes can be done at varying levels of spiciness if you ask.
For those unfamiliar with the citrus/spice flavor I’m referring to above, this is going to be a whole new experience, one that I encourage you to try. If you don’t like spicy food, talk to your waiter or sushi chef and they can accommodate you. There are many traditional sushi restaurants in this town, but this fusion restaurant is doing it’s own thing. Yes, you can get a simple California roll here (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but the real fun is in trying something new. Where else can you pair your sushi roll with a Michelada in this town? And indeed when I was there it seemed like just about every table had at least one. And everyone seemed to be having a good time.
Xevichez Sushi Bar is located at 24250 Town Center Drive #180 (across from Urban Home) and is open 7 days/week.